By Scott D. Pierce, The Salt Lake Tribune
The actor who played the grandfather on the made-in-Utah Disney Channel show “Andi Mack” is now facing a federal charge after he allegedly tried to set up a sexual encounter with a person he believed to be a 13-year-old boy.
Stoney Westmoreland, 48, has been charged with one count of coercion and enticement in U.S. District Court in Utah. He had been scheduled to make his initial appearance in 3rd District Court on Friday on six previously filed state felonies. But those counts will be dropped to make way for the federal charge, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
If convicted of the federal count, he faces a minimum-mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison, with the possibility of being sentenced to life in prison.
Immediately following his arrest, Westmoreland was fired by the Disney Channel. He had appeared in 38 of the 58 episodes of “Andi Mack,” which is filmed in and around Salt Lake City and Magna, that have been produced to date. Fourteen episodes have not yet aired, and Disney has announced that edits will be made to remove his character, Ham Mack, from upcoming episodes when the show returns to the Disney Channel schedule on Jan. 18.
“We released Stormy Westmoreland from the series as soon as the serious charges against him were made known,” said a Disney Channel spokesperson. “Telecasts will continue on Disney Channel and DisneyNOW and new episodes will premiere in the coming weeks and months, with some edits made by the producers.”
According to court documents in the state court case, Westmoreland began chatting online with a detective who was posing as a 13-year-old, and “asked if he would come to his hotel room and engage in sexual activity.” The actor also allegedly sent three pictures of male genitalia and one of men having sex.
When Westmoreland went to meet the person he thought was the boy, he was arrested. And, according to police, he admitted he sent the photos and arranged the meeting.