The Los Gatos "party mom"/"cool mom" who is still awaiting trial for allegedly corrupting high schoolers and encouraging sexual assault has not been having the best time in jail, and was apparently injured in a beating by cellmates.
The story of the arrest of Shannon O'Connor, a.k.a. Shannon Bruga, made major local headlines when it broke in October 2021, and the Los Gatos mom of two teenage boys has been in jail now for 18 months without bail. Now, as Bay Area News Group reports, O'Connor's preliminary hearing — which will determine whether there is sufficient evidence to go to trial — has been delayed again until April 17. The hearing had been scheduled for this past Monday, but the judge granted another five-week delay after ruling that the DA's office should have access to medical records of alleged injured victims in the case.
But now we learn that, just last week, prosecutors filed assault charges against five women who were sharing a "dorm room" with O'Connor at Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas. The women, Danielle Chavez, 24; Marjaanna Gardea, 28; Sophia Vigil, 35; Anita Quiroz, 36; and Erika Amaya, 45, allegedly attacked and injured O'Connor on October 24 "using hands and feet, and the level of force used was likely to produce great bodily injury." The attack was reportedly caught on surveillance video, and O'Connor was subsequently treated at a hospital for unspecified injuries. A motive for the attack was not given.
Per Bay Area News Group, the five women "have criminal records for various charges ranging from theft and identity fraud to assault with a deadly weapon and, for one, attempted murder."
The criminal complaint against O'Connor includes 39 counts that include felony child endangerment, and misdemeanors including furnishing alcohol to minors, child molestation, and sexual battery. Between mid-2020 and mid-2021, O'Connor allegedly threw booze-fueled parties for her older son's Los Gatos High School friends, and allegedly encouraged boys to have non-consensual sex with drunk and/or passed-out girls.
In an email to the high school that was part of the court filings, one parent wrote, "We have many photos of these kids at [O’Connor’s] home, drinking, passed out, in bed (with what looks like no clothing)."
O'Connor was caught, in part, because she had been using Snapchat to message the teens, instructing them to keep the parties a secret from their parents.
Another parent became alarmed when their teenage son came home extremely drunk, spending the night vomiting and apparently nearly drowning in a bathtub due to intoxication.
O'Connor is accused of allegedly letting her 15-year-old son and a friend drive, very drunk and unlicensed, in the parking lot of Los Gatos High School — and at one point, the son and another boy reportedly were hanging off the back of the car when the other boy fell off the car and hit his head, losing consciousness for 30 seconds.
Since the arrest and charges, O'Connor's second husband, a tech executive, filed for divorce. As Bay Area News Group reports, her first husband, who is the father of her older son, has accused O'Connor in court of "weaponizing" the family court in order to help pay for her current legal expenses.
O'Connor also separately faces a defamation suit from a teenage boy who accused O'Connor and her son of spreading false rumors about him being a "rapist" in 2019. And she's also been accused in a criminal case, still pending, of embezzling $120,000 from a former employer in the form of unauthorized personal charges to a company account.
With a preliminary hearing happening April 17 at the earliest, we don't expect to see the "party mom" case going to trial until much later this year.