A former Disney actor charged with attempting to hook up with an underage boy via Grindr complained he is unlikely to face a fair trial as he fears his judge is anti-gay.
Actor Stoney Westmoreland, 49, was arrested last December in Salt Lake City, Utah. Authorities say he was attempting to arrange a sexual meet up with a boy he believed was 13.
Westmoreland allegedly sent photos to the user, sexual messages, asked the boy for nudes and sex, and then sent a cab via a taxi ride app to pick him up and bring him to a hotel room he’d booked. The 13-year-old turned out to be an undercover police officer.
Related: Disney just fired one of its stars for trying to hook up with a 13-year-old boy
Until his arrest, Westmoreland had a recurring role on Disney’s TV show, Andi Mack. Upon his arrest, Disney immediately fired him. He has also appeared in Scandal, NCIS: Los Angeles, Breaking Bad, and Weeds.
Westmoreland has pleaded not guilty to coercion and enticement of a minor.
As he approaches his trial, Westmoreland has claimed he cannot face a fair hearing. His reasoning? As a private attorney, the federal district judge dealing with his case previously represented clients who wanted to uphold the Proposition 8 same-sex marriage ban in California.
In court documents filed last month, Westmoreland’s attorney claims Judge Howard Nielson Jr is likely biased against gay people and therefore cannot be impartial.
They said that Nielson previously argued in court that homosexuality is a choice and that conversion therapy can change people from being gay to straight.
They note that some Congress members also opposed Nielson’s federal appointment earlier this year, citing a belief he may be anti-gay.
Westmoreland, via his attorney’s documents, asked the judge to recuse himself from the case.
However, the judge declined the request and rebuffed claims he cannot be impartial. He says his personal views cannot be inferred from the clients he has represented in the past.
“I can state categorically and unequivocally that I do not harbor any personal bias or prejudice concerning Mr. Westmoreland,” he said, according to Deseret News.
Nielson says any assumption that he shares the same views as clients he has represented in the past is incorrect, as well as the assumption he cannot keep any personal views from influencing his interpretation of the law.
“Neither assumption is reasonable,” the judge wrote in his response.
“Indeed, even if I in fact held the personal views that defendant imputes to me based on positions that he believes I advanced on behalf of my clients — and I do not — a reasonable person would not assume that as a judge I would follow those views rather than the law that I have sworn to uphold.”
Related: Man sues Grindr for “Negligently” hooking him up with 13-year-old boy
In court documents, Westmoreland is identified as bisexual. His attorney says, “The case will involve a detailed examination of the hook-up culture for homosexual men, how it works and what it means psychologically.”
Westmoreland’s trial is set for March. However, before then he is due in court on January, 3, to answer questions about potential breaches of his bail conditions.
PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
While this guy is deplorable he actually is bringing up a valid argument. The Orange Puppet has appointed almost 25% of Judges on the Federal level. Every one of them have been sent through the Federalist Society. These far right zealots have espoused publicity such disgusting statements such as Gay sex is the same as beastility, we are all pedophiles, we deserve absolutely no protections in housing and employment, Gay sex should be illegal, the abhorrent list goes on and on…
These noxious cretins have been appointed for LIFETIME terms …
Why doesn’t Grindr verify users’ ages? What this guy did was inexcusable but it does bring up the issue of guys accidentally and unknowingly discussing/having sex with a 16 or 17 year old who lies about his age. Lots of high school boys can pass for college age, at least physically, and it’s something that any guy who is into young guys has to be mindful of because if you get that wrong, if you hook up with someone even one day underage it doesn’t matter how old you thought he was, you could go to prison and your life could be ruined.
Grindr should be verifying the age of every user. I don’t mind showing them my driver’s license. It would protect unwitting men from being tricked and it would protect minors from exploitation.
Yeah, that’s a great idea! Lets make it mandatory to have show our drivers licenses to the Chinese company. What could go wrong. Lol
The peoples lives there were ruined were the ones that knew they were under age and still went ahead with it. There’s always a record. Still if someone looks underage it’s on you to check their id. You’re the adult.
Why should Grindr be made responsible for checking ages? How about grown men just stop trying to have sex with teenage boys period. Problem solved.
The guy’s not gay. For gay men, the operable focus of attraction is about the person’s sex, and gay men accept that underage boys are off limits for a good reason. The operable focus attraction for pedophiles is about age, and the kid’s sex is a secondary issue if it’s an issue at all. This is why we use different descriptors for the different groups. He’s not gay.
PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
100% Co-sign. The overwhelmingly majority of kiddie diddlers despite what the lunatic conservative smcubag nutbags proclaim are in fact NOT Gay.
An episode of Law and Order showed that perfectly when Stabler asked a suspect about his gender preference. He replied it didn’t matter “as long as there was no turf on the field”…
Yep. Sounds like the judge is a real Douchebag. However, his lawyer is trying to play the gay card. Bullshit. if you’re a gay man that means your attracted to men. Not children. End of story. No judge is going to be cool with that.
Note to the defendant: the “13 year old” you meet on Grindr probably isn’t 13.
All this talk about age verification does my head in. Heres a tip guys, if a person has the suffix teen after their age then walk away and leave them to the other teens. Find yourselves a man, not a boy.
Since when is someone against pedophilia Anti gay ??
PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
Read my comment above. There is a HUGE difference between being anti-Gay and anti-pedophila. A Gay person should not have to be face a Judge who has equated us all to pedophiles and those engaged in beastility….
Disney protects pedophiles all the time- they probably knew about this guy all along and fired him because it went public. The ‘Me Too’ movement hasn’t gone after the pedophiles- the industry still turns on the victims when they talk- most recently- Ricky Garcia who exposed Joby Harte- his former manager (and Andi Mack star Asher Angel’s current)
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