A Pennsylvania mother was arrested after she allegedly sent fake naked photos of her daughter’s cheerleading rivals to coaches, numerous sources reported.
Raffaela Spone, 50, of Bucks County, allegedly manipulated photos to depict the three teenage girls naked, drinking, and smoking, and anonymously sent the images to the girls’ coaches in an effort to get the girls kicked off the team, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on March 13.
Raffaela Spone was charged with two misdemeanors, and is facing three counts of cyber harassment of a child and three counts of harassment. pic.twitter.com/jK9akofvbm
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) March 13, 2021
Spone also allegedly sent messages to the girls, who were members of the Victory Vipers cheerleading squad, telling them to commit suicide, Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub’s office said, according to the Inquirer. A report citing court records suggested there’s no indication Spone’s daughter was aware of what her mother was doing, according to ABC 7.
One of the victim’s parents contacted police in July when their daughter began receiving harassing text messages from an anonymous phone number, the Inquirer reported. Two more families approached police claiming their daughters had also been receiving similar messages depicting the victims in bikinis, according to the report. (RELATED: Mom Arrested, Daughter Taken To Hospital After Confrontation With Police Over Masks)
Police traced the phone number sending the messages to a website that sells numbers to telemarketers. After following the data to an IP address, they found the messages were coming from Spone’s household. A search of Spone’s phone revealed links to the numbers used to send the messages and photos to the victims, Inquirer reported.
Authorities arrested Spone in early March and charged her with three counts of cyber harassment of a child and three counts of harassment, Hilltown Township police said, according to ABC 7.
George Ratel, one of the victim’s parents, said his daughter, the two other victims, and Spone’s daughter were initially friends. However, Ratel’s daughter stopped spending time with Spone’s daughter due to her behavior, the Inquirer reported.
“I don’t know what would push her to this point,” Ratel said. “As a dad I was pretty upset about it. It’s an image put out there of my daughter that is simply not true.”