SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — Shannon O’Connor, also known as the Los Gatos “Party Mom,” pleaded not guilty through her defense attorney on Monday to a slew of new charges.
O’Connor was indicted by a grand jury last week and charged with 20 felony and 43 misdemeanor counts. She was initially charged by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office with 39 counts in October of 2021.
The mother of two is accused of hosting alcohol-fueled sex parties for underage teenagers, including her own teenaged sons. Prosecutors said O’Connor organized secret parties between the summer of 2020 and February 2021 without her husband’s knowledge. The alleged victims were 13 male and female Los Gatos High School students.
She allegedly lured girls to her parties, served copious amounts of alcohol, and pressured them to have “sexual encounters” with boys.
O’Connor is now facing even more charges because an ongoing investigation revealed additional crimes against minors, Deputy District Attorney Rebekah Wise told reporters gathered at the courthouse in San Jose Monday.
O’Connor looked dramatically different in court compared to her mugshots released in 2021. The “Party Mom” wore thick-rimmed eye glasses, and her blonde hair dye grew out during her time behind bars. Fellow inmates gave O’Connor looks of curiosity when the judge emphasized that she will remain locked up with no bail allowed.
O’Connor answered questions from the judge in a hushed voice that was inaudible from the courtroom gallery. The “Party Mom” is facing a longer possible prison sentence because of the grand jury’s stack of new charges.
If convicted at trial, O’Connor could potentially be sentenced to 31 years in prison, Wise said.
Prosecutors said delays in court proceedings triggered anxiety for the cases’ young victims. After several delays over O’Connor’s preliminary hearing, the DA’s Office called on the grand jury to indict O’Connor. The new incitement sent the case forward to trial without a preliminary hearing, and shielded victims from being required to testify in front of an open courtroom, Wise explained.
O’Connor preyed on and manipulated 14-year-old students for her own “sexual gratification,” according to court documents. The “Party Mom” had an M.O. that she carried out for months, court documents state. According to Wise, O’Conner communicated with teens via Snapchat or text messages, and helped minors sneak out of their homes in the middle of the night without their parents’ knowledge.
O’Connor was “very opinionated” about girls that were allowed to attend her parties, according to Wise. “She would reject girls as guests by saying they weren’t ‘pretty enough’ or didn’t ‘put out,'” court documents state.
Investigators uncovered O’Conner’s Google searches before she was arrested. The Google searches included, “hot 16 (year) old teenage girls,” according to court documents obtained by KRON4.
Shortly after her arrest, O’Connor called her son from jail and instructed him to not cooperate with the investigation, court documents state. Her son, identified as a victim in the case as “John Doe 3,” promised his mother that he would not help investigators, the recorded jail call revealed. She also called her husband and ordered him to hide their financial asserts, court records show.
The 63 charges include endangering the health of a child, sexual battery, annoying or molesting a child, child endangerment, and furnishing alcohol to a minor.
The judge issued a new criminal protective order Monday barring O’Connor from making any contact with the case’s alleged victims and witnesses.
The “Party Mom” will return to court on December 26 to set a date for her trial.