Crime and Courts

Los Gatos Mom Accused of Underage Drinking, Sex Parties Appears in Court

Plea hearing postponed until Jan. 18 for Shannon O'Connor, who will remain behind bars for the holidays

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A Los Gatos mother charged with hosting parties for underage kids, supplying them with alcohol and encouraging them to have sex, was in court Friday morning.

Shannon O’Connor has been in jail since her arrest in October and was supposed to enter a plea Friday to 39 felony and misdemeanor charges, including child endangerment, child molestation and sexual assault.

But the hearing was delayed until Jan. 18 because O'Connor has a new lawyer, Brian Madden, who asked for more time to read up on the case and get all of the evidence from prosecutors.

During the hearing, O'Connor not only faced a judge, but she also faced several teenage girls and parents who showed up in the courtroom to see her in person.

"We are doing everything in our power to make sure that the defendant is held criminally accountable," Santa Clara County prosecutor Rebekah Wise said.

O’Connor, who also went by the last name Bruga, was denied bail and will remain behind bars for the holidays.

Madden believes that should change.

"I think so," Madden said when asked if he felt O'Connor should be out on bail. "But we’ll see what happens when the judge hears out motion next month."

When she was arrested in Idaho, there were 12 underage teens in her home, and authorities in that state are investigating whether she was buying alcohol and hosting sex parties there too.

O’Connor has been barred from making contact with the alleged underage victims, many from Los Gatos High School, including one of her own sons. She faces up to 20 years in jail if she is convicted on all counts.

The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit uncovered emails showing that Los Gatos High School administrators and Los Gatos-Monte Sereno police were contacted by parents about O’Connor's troubling behavior 10 months before she was arrested.

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