Over the summer, sitting by the pool at a luxury apartment complex in Eagle, Idaho, a mother introduced herself to a new neighbor, Shannon O’Connor, who had moved away from the Silicon Valley town of Los Gatos with her two sons. .
“She told me that the kids at Los Gatos High would party so much and the boys would be friends and they would completely ditch their alcohol,” Victoria Malykh said on Wednesday. “She couldn’t bear it anymore, and she brought them here to get away from them all.”
Malekh said backwards, the conversation seems largely ironic. O’Connor now faces 39 criminal charges, including 12 felony counts of endangering children, allegedly suffocating teens with alcohol, getting them drunk to make them vomit, and having sex with them. Whether the girls were conscious or not. News of O’Connor’s arrest spread on campus on Wednesday and among parents who had heard rumors about O’Connor—many of them known as Shannon Bruga—but were terrified nonetheless. .
“I’m shocked that there are parents who would engage in this kind of behavior and incite it,” Amy Rubin said Wednesday while picking up her son from school. “This, frankly, is disgusting.”
The arrests came a year after several students from Los Gatos High School started the #MeTooLosGatos movement, complained about rape culture at the school and organized a rally on campus. At the time, school officials said they had little contact with local police about off-campus activities, which they said they did in the O’Connor case when a parent complained.
O’Connor, 47, was arrested in Idaho. A message left on his cell phone on Wednesday afternoon was not returned.
She and her husband, tech executive Robert Amaral, put a $4.7 million home with a sports court, hot tub and three-car garage on the market sometime last year and moved to Idaho where O’Connor and their son — a 15- The year-old who was on the Los Gatos High football team last year and a 13-year-old middle schooler – recently moved into a rental home while awaiting the sale of the Los Gatos home, Malykh said.
O’Connor, 47, was apparently known as “Cool Mom” since the older son was in middle school and raised eyebrows among some parents for kissing his sons’ friends. But his behavior intensified last summer as his eldest was entering his freshman year in high school.
“This woman was doing weird things, talking to my son on Snapchat,” said a parent waiting outside Los Gatos High on Wednesday. “We are grateful that our child understood what was going on” and she did not respond.
There is a general consensus, he said, that O’Connor fled Los Gatos at the end of the school year “because of the raging fire.”
During the lunch break, the students had breakfast at a restaurant across the street, saying that everyone was talking about arrests on campus.
“It’s scary,” said a little girl. “I’m glad she’s gone. It makes me feel safe.”
The criminal complaint, released Tuesday by the Santa Clara County District Attorney, outlines dozens of incidents over an 8-month period, where O’Connor allegedly bought a teen’s liquor of choice and sold them to a rented beach house. Encouraged to have sex in his home. In a cabin in Santa Cruz and Lake Tahoe. The complaint states that in one case, when a girl was so intoxicated that she regained consciousness in a bedroom and passed out, O’Connor brought a teenage boy who sexually assaulted her while the girl was crying. , stated in the complaint.
“Why did you leave me there with him?” The girl later asked O’Connor, the complaint said. “Like why did you like doing that? Like you knew what he was going to do to me.”
O’Connor “just laughed,” said the complaint.
It is not clear whether any of the teenage boys will face any punishment.
As one parent put it, “They were molested in this situation. Are they to blame? I hope not.”
Some of the teens were so intoxicated, they told officials, that one nearly drowned in a hot tub and the other in a bathtub. A boy was hurt when he fell from the back of O’Connor’s car. The complaint states that she was taking the boys around while they were drinking and she allowed her son to drive into the school’s parking lot, where the other boy was hanging from behind and lost his grip. Went.
The case was reported by the mother of one of the girls caught at drunken parties, which at times included 20 teens, who were allegedly sworn to secrecy by O’Connor. The mother has said that the girl was in such a shock that she needed counseling.
Along with 12 felony child-endangerment charges, O’Connor faces 10 counts of child endangerment, one count of sexual battery of misdemeanor, three counts of misdemeanor child abuse and 13 counts of providing alcohol to minors. Does matter.
At the apartment complex in Idaho, Malykh said, O’Connor’s eldest son and his friends often occupied communal parking areas, driving recklessly — hanging from rails with friends — and yelling.
“It was unpleasantly wild,” said Malykh. “I’m like, where’s mom?”
Reporters Robert Salonga and John Woolfolk contributed to this article.