Stoney Westmoreland, known for playing the grandfather in Disney’s Andi Mack, has been sentenced to two years in federal prison after attempting to lure a minor into sex, Deadline reported on Sunday. The actor, who was fired from the tween sitcom in 2018 following allegations of using the dating app Grindr to arrange sex with a minor, initially faced six felony counts in the case.
An affidavit filed with Salt Lake City’s 3rd District Court alleged that Westmoreland, at the time 48, used “an Internet app…for dating and meeting people for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity” to communicate with another user he believed to be underage. Prosecutors said that on December 13, 2018, the actor found a Grindr profile operated by a police detective near where Andi Mack is filmed, and took a rideshare to meet the boy, according to court documents. He was arrested that day, and Westmoreland was dropped by Disney hours later.
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Westmoreland, now 52, initially faced up to ten years in prison for the felony counts (which included attempted exploitation of a minor and enticing a minor) but was later allowed to plead down to the lesser charge of using interstate facilities to transmit information about a minor. His sentence will be followed by ten years of supervised release.
Alleged Victim is Close in Age to Westmoreland’s Andi Mack Co-Stars
Westmoreland’s alleged victim was only 13 years old, disturbingly close to the ages of his young Andi Mack co-stars at the time. Peyton Elizabeth Lee, who starred as the titular Andi Mack, was only 14 at the time of Westmoreland’s arrest; Sophie Wylie and Joshua Rush, who play Andi’s best friends Buffy and Cyrus, were both underage as well.
Disney moved quickly to ensure the safety of their young stars, with a spokesperson telling E! News, “Given the nature of the charges and our responsibility for the welfare of employed minors, we have released him from his recurring role and he will not be returning to work on the series.”
The sitcom, which ran on Disney from 2017 to 2019, followed Chinese-American pre-teen Andi Mack (Lee) whose older sister Bex (Lilan Bowden) reveals a secret that changes the Mack family forever: the “parents” that raised her are actually her grandparents, and Bex is Andi’s birth mother. Lauren Tom (The Joy Luck Club, Futurama) starred alongside Westmoreland as (grand)parents Celia and Henry Mack.
E! News also reports that Westmoreland will cooperate with DNA collection and register as a sex offender as part of his plea deal. His computer devices will be subject to random search and inspection, and he must report all accounts used for electronic communication or storage.
Additionally, the actor will be restricted from contact with individuals who are under 18 years of age without adult supervision.