A Los Angeles mother has been accused of hosting a number of sex parties where teens were encouraged to participate in sex acts, sometimes non-consensual. Her own son was among the teens present.
Shannon O'Connor (47), also known as Shannon Bruga, has been arrested and charged with 39 criminal counts from felony child endangerment and sexual assault, to multiple misdemeanor charges of child molestation and providing alcohol to minors, according to court documents. O'Connor is currently awaiting extradition from Idaho.
In the South Bay, LA, the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office uncovered details of secret teen parties, filled with alcohol and sex, local ABC news reports.
The mother threw drunken parties where she encouraged young teens to participate in sex acts, sometimes non-consensual and sometimes while she watched. The teens, who were mostly 14 and 15-year-olds, included her own son, a Los Gatos High School freshman football player. O'Connor provided alcohol, including beer, vodka and Fireball whiskey, and handed out condoms to the underage party guests, the DA claimed in the release.
She used Snapchat or text to invite them to these parties and warned the teens to keep silent or she could go to jail. The parties took place in the neighborhoods of Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, and Lake Tahoe. The parties took place between June 2020 and May 2021.
O'Connor would push the teens to drink until they became sick or blacked out. The District Attorney has said some of the assaults against the young victims happened while they were drunk.
Criminal attorney and former prosecutor, Steven Clark told ABC7 news "This goes way beyond just having a party breakout at your home.
"This is someone who appears to have premeditated these events for some particular purpose."
"I think the DA's office is just at the tip of the iceberg with these charges."
He continued "I think the first order of business for the defense is to try to find out what was going on in her head at the time. What was she suffering from? Some type of mental health issue or other challenges that caused her to act in this way and encourage this type of behavior? There's something behind this curtain that needs to be evaluated in all likelihood by a trained psychologist."
District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a news release "As a parent, I'm shocked. As the DA, I'm determined to hold those adults who endanger children fully accountable to the law and our community."
The mother of one of the female children involved spoke to Mercury News. She said "It's just so terrible what she did to my daughter and these other children.
"My heart breaks for these kids. It's been devastating. It's a worst nightmare for a parent.
Some of the young boys involved in the party were teammates of O'Connor's high school football team. Mercury News reported, "The mother said she raised concerns about the drinking with coaches and school officials at the beginning of the year but that she was told that since it was off-campus and there was nothing they could do."
The Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District has yet to comment on the case but released a statement saying it is working closely with law enforcement to support investigations.
In the statement, they said, "Parents and families also play a crucial role in setting clear expectations for the behavior of our young people and in monitoring their activities."