A Pennsylvania mother allegedly sent deepfake photos and video of her teenage daughter’s cheerleading rivals depicting them naked, drinking and smoking to their coaches in a bid to get them kicked off the team, the Hilltown Township Police Department said.

By Marlene Lenthang

Raffaela Spone, 50, allegedly sent the manipulated photos and video to at least three of her daughter’s teammates and their coaches on the cheerleading team, the Victory Vipers, in Chalfont, Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub’s office said, according to the The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Spone also anonymously sent messages to the victims urging them to kill themselves, according to the paper’s report of the district attorney’s charges.

The Hilltown Township Police Department confirmed the report to ABC News. The Bucks County District Attorney’s Office did not immediately reply to ABC News’ request for comment.

Hilltown Township Police Department
Raffaela Spone is pictured in a mugshot released by law enforcement. Spone is accused of making deepfake photos of her daughter’s cheerleading rival showing her nude, drinking and smoking to get her booted from the squad.

Spone was arrested on March 4 and is charged with three counts of cyber harassment of a child and three counts of harassment, according to Hilltown Township police. An attorney for Spone could not be immediately identified.

There’s no indication that her high school-aged daughter knew what her mother was doing, the report said citing court records.

The three victims had allegedly  fallen out with Spone’s daughter, and she wanted them booted off the team (stock image)

One victim’s parents contacted Hilltown Township police in July saying the girl received harassing text messages from an anonymous number, per The Philadelphia Inquirer’s reporting.

The girl and her coaches were sent photos that appeared to depict her naked, drinking and smoking a vape pen, according to police. Her parents told police because they feared the videos could lead to her daughter being kicked off the team, the paper reported.

Two more families came forward saying their daughters received similar messages, according to the Inquirer. Those victims were sent photos of themselves in bikinis, according to the report.

Police determined the videos were deepfakes — digitally altered images that appear to be authentic.

The images were created by mapping the girls’ social media photos onto other images, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

In the investigation, police traced the phone numbers the girls received harassing messages from, which led them to a website that sells numbers to telemarketers.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer , Spone is accused of creating ‘deepfake’ photos and videos showing three members of the Victory Vipers cheer squad ‘naked, drinking and smoking’

They followed the data to an IP address, police said, which showed activity from within Spone’s Chalfont home.

Detectives searched Spone’s smartphone and found evidence linking her to the numbers used to send the harassing texts and images, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

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