Raffaella Spone, a 50-year-old mom from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, is under arrest after allegedly creating “deepfake” videos of teenage girls who were “rivals” of her daughter in an effort to get them kicked off a cheerleading squad:
A Bucks County woman created ‘deepfake’ videos to harass rivals on her daughter’s cheerleading squad, DA says https://t.co/yRuIgMfuFp
— The Philadelphia Inquirer (@PhillyInquirer) March 12, 2021
The videos, which many believed initially to be true, “depicted the girl’s rivals naked, drinking or smoking”:
A Bucks County woman anonymously sent coaches on her teen daughter’s cheerleading squad “deepfake” photos and videos that depicted the girl’s rivals naked, drinking or smoking, all in a bid to embarrass them and force them from the team, prosecutors say. https://t.co/eet6QyXXD1
— Rob Tornoe (@RobTornoe) March 12, 2021
This criminal mastermind also sent threatening texts which cops were able to trace back to her IP address and later, her phone:
Raffaela Spone, 50, also sent harassing texts to the three teenage victims, telling them to kill themselves, prosecutors said. https://t.co/o4OaHCXz5a
— Vinny Vella (@Vellastrations) March 12, 2021
From the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Detectives traced the phone numbers to a website specializing in selling them to telemarketers, and followed the data to an IP address that showed activity from within Spone’s house in Chalfont. After searching Spone’s smartphone, detectives found evidence linking her to the numbers used to send the harassing texts and images, the affidavit said.
Spone was charged with “3 counts Cyber Harassment of a Child (M3)” and “3 counts Harassment (M3).” From the Hilltown Township Police Department:
We trust there will be many more awful stories like this as the technology gets more widespread. Yikes.