Raffaela Spone: Mom Accused Of Using Deepfakes To Bully Teens

Raffaela Spone, a 50 year old woman from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, is accused of making deepfake photos and videos to harass her daughter’s cheerleading rivals.

Raffaela Spone Photos

Raffaela Spone
Raffaela Spone

Criminal Charges

Spone was charged by the Bucks County District Attroney’s Office on three charges of cyber harassment of a child and related offenses.

Deepfaked Photos

Investigators say Spone took social media photos of girls from the school’s cheerleading squad to make it appear that they were drinking, smoking and vaping, or nude.

She allegedly sent the pictures to the girls with the suggestion that they commit suicide.

Phone records from the case allege that Spone sent the faked photos to get the teens banned from the gym where they did cheerleading.

District Attorney Matt Weintraub said, “Our allegation is that Ms. Spone took existing images from existing social media — from these three victims’ existing social media accounts — and manipulated them.”

Madi Hine Victimized

One of the alleged victims is a 17 year old named Madi Hine. She was approached by the owners of Victory Vipers cheerleading training center and told that they had received anonymous text messages with fake photos of her attached.

Her mother, Jennifer Hines, told the New York Times that the photos and videos of Madi were taken out of context or digitally manipulated to make it seem like she violated gym policies.

How Spone Was Caught

Police executed multiple search warrants of phone records and traced the anonymous text messages to several IP addresses. Those addresses led to Raffaela Spone’s house.

Denial

Spone has denied the charges. Her attorney  Robert Birch told a local TV station, “She has absolutely denied what they’re charging her with and because of the fact that this has hit the press, she has received death threats. She has had to go to the police herself, they have a report. Her life has been turned upside down.”

Victory Vipers Cheerleading Training Center Slams Spone

The cheerleading center where the teens trained, Victory Vipers, slammed Spone’s alleged behavior: “When this incident came to our attention last year we immediately initiated our own internal investigation and took the appropriate action at the time. This incident happened outside of our gym. When the criminal investigation ensued, we fully cooperated with law enforcement.”

The statement was released by Mark McTauge and Kelly Cramer, co-owners of the Victory Vipers Training Center.

Raffaela Spone Videos

Video: Bucks County DA holds news conference on Raffaela Spone arrest and cyberbullying

Video: Good Morning America report on Spone arrest

Video: ABC Philadelphia report on Spone arrest

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