A Los Gatos mom accused of organizing drunken parties for her son and his school friends, where teenage girls were sometimes allegedly sexually abused, will spend a vacation in prison, but next month she will have a second chance to secure bail pending trial …
Shannon O’Connor, 47, who has been in custody since her arrest in October, has yet to file a plea plea on multiple felony and molesting charges and counts of alcoholic beverages to adolescents. She said nothing during a brief statement in court on Friday, but her lawyer said she would file a petition for bail and a hearing is scheduled for January 18.
The thought of O’Connor, which prosecutors said threatened teens who talked about partying, bail and being released frightened some of the alleged girls victims and their parents, who watched the proceedings from the courthouse gallery in what many saw for the first time. her from the moment of her arrest.
One of the girls’ mothers said that O’Connor grinned at her and her daughter as she entered the courtroom. The woman said that next month, parents and teens will object to giving O’Connor the opportunity to get out of prison on bail.
“There was a lot of anxiety and emotion,” said the mother of one of the alleged victims, whose name has not been released in order to protect the girl’s privacy. “We are all very strongly convinced that she should not be released on bail, given the nature of her crimes. Everyone is afraid of what this woman can and has done. It poses a danger to society and minors. “
O’Connor was due to file a plea on Friday. But her first lawyer, Sam Polverino, became aware of the conflict of interest after receiving a list of alleged victims and was forced to withdraw. Her new lawyer, Brian Madden, said he hadn’t received all the information on the case from prosecutors yet and needed more time.
“I really am not in a position to comment on this case,” Madden told reporters outside the courthouse later. Regarding the petition for bail, which he plans to file before January 13, he added only that, in his opinion, she should be given a chance to get out of custody.
O’Connor’s husband and sons were not in the courtroom, and no one seemed to be present on her behalf.
Judge Johnny Gogo has scheduled a March 4 hearing for O’Connor to file a plea.
O’Connor faces 39 criminal charges against 15 alleged teenage victims for a series of parties and gatherings from June 2020 to May last year. According to prosecutorial court documents, O’Connor used text messages and Snapchat for her son’s teenage friends to sneak out of their homes late at night and drive them to her spacious ranch-style home in the hills overlooking Silicon Valley. She told them to keep the parties secret.
There, she gave her eldest son and other teenagers – freshmen in high school at the time – access to “excessive amounts of alcohol,” which caused some to vomit or pass out. She also allegedly ran other binge drunks in rented houses in Santa Cruz and the Lake Tahoe area. One boy allegedly suffered a concussion and was so drunk that he almost drowned in the bathtub.
At several parties where boys and teenage girls got drunk, O’Connor allegedly “encouraged them to have sex with each other,” some of which were “without consent.”
O’Connor sought bail during her initial appearance in court on October 20, but prosecutors objected and Judge Gogo agreed to keep her in custody without bail, at least until the next hearing.
Deputy District Attorney Rebecca Wise, who is in charge of the case, argued in a court motion that O’Connor posed both a flight hazard and a danger to teen victims and their families, claiming that she “harassed” and “threatened to spread rumors about” the teenagers … who spoke. In April, O’Connor allegedly pulled her car along with a teenage girl who had a falling out with her and stared at her.
O’Connor and her husband moved to Idaho, where she was arrested and where one of the alleged victims lives. On December 10, she and her husband completed a deal to sell a 5,100-square-foot, five-bedroom home where prosecutors said she hosted many parties, for $ 4.6 million – a potential pot to use if allowed to deposit pledge.
But Wise said Friday that nothing has changed since O’Connor’s last hearing that could require her release.
“Our position is that the only way to preserve victims and public safety is to keep the defendant in custody without bail,” Wise said after Friday’s hearing. “I really think she is a danger to society.”