Mother allegedly created deepfake videos to harass her daughter’s cheerleading rivals
Anna Sturla, CNN
(CNN) — A Pennsylvania woman allegedly created deepfake images of multiple members of a cheerleading gym in order to cyberbully them, according to a Bucks County criminal complaint.
Raffaela Spone has been charged with three counts of cyber harassment of a child and three counts of harassment, both misdemeanors, according to the complaint against her.
Spone allegedly bullied at least three girls who were members of the Doylestown Victory Vipers cheerleading gym over the summer, creating false images that made it look like the girls were “nude, drinking alcohol and or vaping,” and sending texts from phone numbers purchased online urging one girl to “kill yourself,” according to the complaint.
In December, a search warrant was issued for an IP address linked to the account used to purchase the numbers, which led police to Spone’s home, according to an affidavit attached to the complaint.
Robert Birch, Spone’s lawyer, told CNN he has not seen the evidence against his client despite requesting it two weeks ago. The complaint was filed March 3.
“I can’t comment on the evidence because I haven’t seen anything. We absolutely intend to defend this and aggressively pursue this, to clear her name in this,” Birch said.
Spone’s daughter was once a member of the same cheerleading team as the girls who were allegedly harassed, but the daughter left in 2019, according to Birch.
Spone is expected to appear in court on March 30, according to her lawyer and the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office.
The cheerleading gym did not respond to CNN’s requests for comment.