A 50-year-old Chalfont woman was ordered Friday, May 14, 2021 to face trial for harassing three teens on her daughter’s cheerleading squad.
Raffaela Spone was charged in early March following an investigation by the Hilltown Township Police Department with three counts each of cyber harassment of a child and harassment, both misdemeanors of the third degree.
Following a preliminary hearing on Friday, Magisterial District Judge Regina Armitage found enough evidence was presented to send all charges to the Court of Common Pleas.
The evidence presented included a photograph of a minor victim manipulated in a way to make her falsely appear to be unclothed in a public place. Investigators say they can track messages sent to or about the three minor victims back to Spone’s home and, in some cases, her cellular telephone itself.
While investigators originally believed at least one video showed evidence of the use of so-called Deep Fake face replacement technology, police are at this point unable to confirm the video evidence was falsified.
The police investigation, with the assistance of the Bucks County Detectives, is ongoing.
“Harassment is a crime. It is illegal for an adult to harass a child” District Attorney Matt Weintraub said. “Pennsylvania law does not permit an adult to repeatedly and anonymously annoy, alarm or harass someone.”