A former Disney Channel actor accused of attempting to lure a 13-year-old boy to a hotel room for sex claims that the federal judge in his Utah trial has a bias against gay people. U.S. District Judge Howard Nielson Jr. denied Stoney Westmoreland’s motion earlier this month in a written order, saying, “I can state categorically and unequivocally that I do not harbor any personal bias or prejudice concerning Mr. Westmoreland.” Westmoreland, 49, could be put behind bars again for violating two conditions of his release. Westmoreland’s defense attorney, Wendy Lewis, wrote in court documents that Nielson previously said that homosexuality is a choice and stated his support for conversion therapy. “The case will involve a detailed examination of the hook-up culture for homosexual men, how it works and what it means psychologically,” Lewis wrote.
Lewis also said Nielson’s appointment to the federal branch was opposed by several members of Congress due to anti-LGBTQ bias and that Westmoreland is “extremely concerned” that his trial, set for March 2020, will be unfair. The actor allegedly communicated with the boy—who was actually an undercover police officer—on the Grindr app and attempted to bring him back to the Little America Hotel, according to court documents. Westmoreland played a grandfather on the Disney Channel series Andi Mack, but was fired after his arrest last December.