50-year-old Raffaela Spone resides approximately 20 miles from Philadelphia in Chalfont, Pennsylvania.
Spone has a teenage daughter who is a cheerleader with a traveling squad called the Victory Vipers.
Last July, the Hilltown Township Police Department received information from a parent claiming their teenage daughter was being harassed. They reported that the situation involved manipulated digital photographs showing the girl nude, in addition to using alcohol and a vape pen. The suspect allegedly sent the images to their daughter’s cheerleading coaches. It was also reported that the teenager had been sent text messages containing alarming content. The incident resulted in the girl being removed from the cheerleading squad.
When they began to investigate the claims, the police found two other families with reports of the same harassment.
The suspect allegedly encouraged the girls to commit suicide through text messages.
The authorities used the IP address from which the messages were reportedly sent to track down the perpetrator.
After asserting that the texts had come from Spone’s home address, the police were issued a warrant to dig through her cell phone for possible incriminating evidence linking her to the allegations.
The authorities reportedly confirmed that the texts had been sent from Spone’s cell and that the pictures had been created by superimposing the girls’ images over images of random people on the internet.
On March 4, Spone was taken into custody. She is being charged with three counts of misdemeanor cyber harassment of a child, and other charges relating to the alleged offenses.
Spone was released pending her scheduled court date at the end of the month.
Though a motive for the reported acts has not been disclosed, one of the parents of the alleged victims revealed that Spone’s daughter was a bad influence. The situation reportedly occurred after his daughter was told she was forbidden from spending time with the girl.
The coaches at Victory Vipers have not given a statement regarding the situation at this time, and whether the alleged victims have been reinstated on their team is unknown.
If you or someone you love is suspected of a criminal offense, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.