Cheerleader's Mom Allegedly Sent 'Deepfake' Nude Photo, Compromising Videos of Daughter's Rivals
A Pennsylvania mother is accused of digitally manipulating photos and video of her teenage daughter's cheerleading rivals.
Raffaela Spone, 50, is charged with three misdemeanor counts of cyber harassment of a child and three counts of harassment.
Spone allegedly sent the anonymous "deepfake" images and video, which allegedly made it look like the teens were smoking, drinking and posing nude, to three members of her daughter's Victory Vipers cheerleading squad and the Doylestown gym where they practiced. She also allegedly sent texts and voice messages suggesting one of the teen's commit suicide.
"She denies what they are accusing her of doing," Spone's defense attorney Robert Birch tells PEOPLE.
The case came to light in July when one of the teens mother's contacted the Hilltown Township Police Department alleging her daughter was being harassed.
"She stated that her daughter has been receiving both phone calls and text messages from a blocked or unknown number with many of the texts and voice messages saying, 'You should kill yourself,'" states a police criminal complaint obtained by PEOPLE.
The same woman told police that photos from her daughter's social media account had been doctored to make it look like she was "nude, drinking alcohol or vaping," the complaint states.
"The altered video showed [the teen] vaping which could have resulted in her being dismissed from the cheer team," states the complaint.
Two more women came forward to report their daughters had also been the subject of harassment.
One of the mothers received text messages that showed images of her daughter "in bikini attire, with comments written over the images regarding 'toxic traits, revenge, dating boys, and smoking,'" according to the complaint.
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The second parent received messages that purported to show her daughter "was drinking at the shore, smokes, pot, and uses 'attentionwhOre69' as a screen name,'" the complaint reads.
Detectives allegedly were able to track the phone numbers Spone allegedly used to an IP address, which led them to her.
"We intend to see the evidence and put on testimony and cross examine witnesses," says Birch, who says his client and her daughter have received death threats. "I am going to aggressively defend this."
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 30.
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