Raffaela Spone, 50, has been slapped with harassment and cyber harassment charges after she allegedly created fake photos and videos of girls on her daughter’s cheerleading team
A Pennsylvania mom has been arrested for allegedly creating libelous fake photos of girls on her daughter’s cheerleading team.
Raffaela Spone, 50, who hails from the town of Chalfront, was slapped with harassment and cyber harassment charges over the saga late last week.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Spone is accused of creating ‘deepfake’ photos and videos showing three members of the Victory Vipers cheer squad ‘naked, drinking and smoking’.
The newspaper reports that the three girls had fallen out with Spone’s daughter and she wanted them booted off the team.
‘Deepfaking’ is the process of doctoring an existing image, but it is more sophisticated than Photoshop because it uses a form of artificial intelligence.
Spone allegedly created the deepfakes by ‘mapping the victims’ social media photos onto other images’ in a bid to make them look real.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer , Spone is accused of creating ‘deepfake’ photos and videos showing three members of the Victory Vipers cheer squad ‘naked, drinking and smoking’
The three victims had allegedly fallen out with Spone’s daughter, and she wanted them booted off the team (stock image)
The mom is then accused of anonymously sending the graphic pictures and videos to the coaches of the cheerleading team.
She also purportedly sent the doctored images directly to the teenage girls, along with message to one of them urging her to ‘kill herself’.
An investigation began last July after one of the victims’ families contacted the police about the disturbing material.
During the probe, officers realized that two other girls on the team had also been targeted.
Detectives traced four phone numbers that had sent the deepfake images and tied them all to a telemarketing website.
They then traced data from that website to an IP address at Spone’s house.
Police say a subsequent search of Spone’s phone uncovered the text messages and deepfake images that she had sent to the three victims and the team’s coaches.
Spone has not yet entered a plea and has been released on bond.
Court records obtained by The Philadelphia Inquirer state that there is no evidence Spone’s daughter knew what her mother was doing.
Raffaela Spone, 50, hails from the town of Chalfront; the Victory Vipers are based in nearby Doylestown (pictured)