Disney Channel/Craig Sjodin
UPDATED: Stoney Westmoreland, a 48-year-old actor who plays the grandfather on Disney Channel sitcom Andi Mack, has been arrested for allegedly trying to arrange online to have sex with a 13-year-old.
Hours after the arrest, the kids-focused Disney cable network severed ties with the actor.
“Stoney Westmoreland, an actor working on the series Andi Mack, was arrested in Salt Lake City today,” a rep for Disney Channel said in a statement Friday night. “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.”
The age of the alleged victim is the same as the central characters on Andi Mack and the young actors who play them. The comedy, created by Terri Minsky, follows 13-year-old Andi Mack and her best friends, Cyrus Goodman and Buffy Driscoll, as they attend middle school.
Westmoreland was arrested Friday in Utah, where Andi Mack films. According to TV station KSL, court documents state he was arrested for investigation of enticing a minor by Internet or text, a second-degree felony, and four counts of dealing in materials harmful to a minor, a third-degree felony.
An affidavit filed in 3rd District Court in Salt Lake City indicated Westmoreland began communicating online with a user he believed was underage “on an Internet app used for dating and meeting people for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity.”
Police allege Westmoreland asked that person to engage in acts with him and to send nude photos. Westmoreland also sent pornographic photos, according to the affidavit.
The Salt Lake City Police Department and FBI Child Exploitation Task Force arrested Westmoreland when he took a ride-sharing service to pick up the person he believed was a teen, the affidavit states.
Westmoreland played Henry “Ham” Mack, Andis (Peyton Elizabeth Lee) grandfather on Andi Mack. He has been heavily recurring on the series and has appeared in 37 episodes. It is unclear whether the character will be written out or recast.
Westmoreland has has a long career as a writer, director and producer, appearing on such TV series as Scandal, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul and NCIS and in the films Matchstick Men and Godzilla.