Former Disney actor, Stoney Westmoreland has been sentenced to two years in prison for attempting to persuade a minor to have sex.
The 52-year-old communicated with an undercover officer on the app Grindr and was arrested in 2018 after trying to meet the investigator who was posing as a 13-year-old teenager.
Westmoreland, who played grandfather ‘Ham’ on Disney’s hit series Andy Mack, took a plea deal with the prosecution and will spend 24 months behind bars followed by ten years of supervised release, TMZ reported.
The disgraced actor originally faced a ten-year sentence stemming from charges of enticement of a minor over the Internet or text.
After taking the deal, he was allowed to plead guilty to a lesser charge of using interstate facilities to transmit information about a minor.
Westmoreland’s lawyers had argued that the actor believed he was communicating with an adult roleplaying as a 13-year-old and had no real intention of meeting with a minor.
In addition to the sentence, Westmoreland will not be allowed to interact with minors without adult supervision.
His electronic devices and social media accounts will also be subject to random inspections upon his release, according to TMZ.
In 2018, Utah police said Westmoreland communicated with an undercover officer who was posing as a 13-year-old teenager.
Authorities said Westmoreland tried to meet the teen for sex by using a ride-sharing app to order the victim a car to the Little America Hotel. Two novelty sex toys were seized from the hotel room.
He was taken into custody by the Salt Lake City Police Department and FBI Child Exploitation Task Force.
According to police he ‘admitted to sending nude photos, and that the male who he was speaking with told him he was 13 years old’. He was initially charged with four counts of dealing in materials harmful to a minor and one count of enticing a minor by internet or text.
Westmoreland, who is bisexual, had previously pleaded not guilty to enticement of a minor.
Known as grandfather Henry ‘Ham’ Mack on the children’s show Andi Mack, Westmoreland was fired by Disney in December 2018 on the same day he was arrested.
Disney said in a statement at the time Westmoreland was fired: ‘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 which wraps production on its third season next week.’