Raffaela Spone Cheerleader mom deepfake cyber-harassment of daughter’s rivals. Chalfont, Pennsylvania mom creates expertly manipulated false images to implicate teen girls.
If only her own arrest booking photo was perfectly manufactured too …
A Pennsylvania mother has been accused of making illicit fake images and videos of her daughter’s cheerleading rivals and then sending them to their coaches in a bid to get the kids kicked off the team, according to reports.
The false images, which authorities said were expertly manipulated, aka ‘deepfakes,’ were also sent to at least three girls on the Victory Vipers cheerleading team, with messages urging the youngsters to commit suicide, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported, citing the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office.
Raffaela Spone, 50, was charged with cyber harassment of a child following her allegedly creating false snaps, showing her daughter’s rivals drinking, smoking and in the nude, authorities said.
Spone was arrested March 4.
Authorities stressed that there was no indication Spone’s teenage daughter knew what her mother was doing, according to court documents.
In July, cops learned one of the victims receiving harassing text messages from an anonymous number, court documents say, along with the girls’ coaches being sent photos of her naked, drinking and vaping.
Two more girls came forward with complaints about the fake photos showing them in bikinis, which led cops to investigate the anonymous number and content.
Police found the photos and videos were deepfakes — images which appear to look authentic but have been digitally altered.
Investigators traced the number back to telemarketers, and followed data to an IP address coming from Spone’s home in Chalfont, about 50 minutes north of Philadelphia.
Victory Vipers told ABC News it cooperated with police during the investigation and that ‘all athletes involved, are no longer apart of our program.’
‘Victory Vipers has always promoted a family environment and we are sorry for all individuals involved,’ the team said in a statement. ‘We have very well-established policies and a very strict anti-bullying policy in our program.’