Mom accused of hosting sex parties for teens had 12 minors in her home

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A mom-of-two who has been accused of hosting secret alcohol-fueled sex parties for her 15-year-old son and his friends while living in California had a dozen teenagers at her new home in Idaho when deputies arrived to arrest her. 

Shannon O'Connor, 47, who was living in Los Gatos, California, at the time, would buy vodka and Fireball whiskey for the parties, hand out condoms to minors, encourage them to have sex, and even watch and laugh while the teenagers engaged in sex acts, some of which were said to be nonconsensual, prosecutors claim.

At the time of her arrest in Star, Idaho, on a warrant out of California, deputies discovered 12 minors on O'Connor's property and had her own two sons taken away by social services after deeming them to be in 'imminent danger.' 

In addition to the dozens of charges O'Connor has been hit with stemming from allegedly throwing alcohol-fueled parties for minors, she faces unrelated counts for allegedly stealing money from her former employer.   

Prosecutors have claimed that 47-year-old mother Shannon O'Connor (pictured) would watch and laugh while her son's friends engaged in sex acts at parties she hosted

The mother is said to have kept the parties secret from her husband and other parents while 14- and 15-year-olds would get so drunk they 'would vomit, be unable to stand and fall unconscious,' prosecutors said.

O'Connor is married to Robert Amaral, chief revenue officer at SlashNext, an anti-fraud software company.  

'It took a lot of brave children to come forward and to untangle this deeply disturbing case,' Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a statement.

'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.'

O'Connor, who is also known as Shannon Bruga, was arrested as a fugitive in Ada County, Idaho, where she now lives, and was booked into a local jail with prosecutors planning to extradite her to California.

There, she is facing a list of 39 criminal counts, including 12 felony child endangerment charges, as well as counts of sexual battery.

When deputies from the Ada County Sheriff's Office arrived at O'Connor's new home in Star to arrest her last Saturday afternoon, they found 10 teenage boys and two girls – most of whom had spent the night there, according to officials. 

Detectives contacted the parents of O'Connor's underage guests and later released them. 

O'Connor is facing 39 criminal counts for allegedly hosting alcohol and sex parties for her son and his teenage friends in her home at the time in Los Gatos, California (pictured) 

Deputies declared Bruga’s two sons to be in imminent danger and placed them in the custody of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. 

Investigators now suspect that O'Connor may have been hosting parties with local teenagers in Ada County over the last several months, the sheriff's office said.

Ada County Sheriff’s detectives began investigating O'Connor over the summer after hearing from a local family, which originally connected with her over the internet and then met her in the Boise area this past spring when she started looking for a home in Idaho.

That family later found out about the alleged parties and sexual abuse investigation in California and tried to end their relationship with O'Connor. 

'They told detectives that’s when Bruga started harassing them,' according to the sheriff's office. 

That investigation was still in progress when Santa Clara prosecutors in California issued the arrest warrant for O'Connor last Thursday, resulting in her arrest two days later. 

O'Connor is accused of holding several parties for her son and friends during an eight-month period starting in 2020 to March of this year, pressuring those in attendance to keep quiet about the debauchery.

'She stated if anyone was told she could go to jail,' the statement of facts said. 

In one case, she allegedly went to a bedroom and watched a drunk teenage boy get on top of and grope a girl who was a friend of O'Connor's then-15-year-old son, according to court documents. 

A 14-year-old also claimed that she was threatened with retaliation if she told anyone, which would entail rumors being spread about her.

At one party, O'Connor allegedly handed a boy a condom and pushed him into a room where a drunk 14-year-old girl was lying on the bed. 

Frightened, the girl ran and locked herself in the bathroom, the statement said.

At another, O'Connor is said to have taken a boy to a room and left him with a girl who also was drunk. 

Prosecutors say the girl was allegedly assaulted and that she later confronted O'Connor over leaving her while she was extremely drunk.

'Like why did you like, do that?' the girl allegedly said. 'Like, you knew what he was going to do to me.'

In yet another incident, the mother is accused of seeing a boy punching and kicking an intoxicated girl but doing nothing to intervene.

In October 2020, there was $9,000 worth of damages done at this house O'Connor rented for a birthday party in Santa Cruz

'It's just so terrible what she did to my daughter and these other children,' said the mother of one of the girls. 

'My heart breaks for these kids. It's been devastating. It's a worst nightmare for a parent,' she told Mercury News

In October 2020, there was $9,000 worth of damages at a house O'Connor rented for a birthday party in Santa Cruz; surveillance footage showed teens throwing up and stumbling around the property. 

The owners of the rental property claimed that O'Connor lied about who would be staying at the home, saying there would be four adults; instead she was the only adult with a dozen teens, who were said to have had a food fight and carved their names into furniture.  

One girl broke a finger and a boy got a concussion when some of the teens drove O'Connor's car in a school parking lot on December 19, 2020, prosecutors said. 

During the incident, two of the teenagers are said to have clung to the back of the SUV while an unlicensed driver sped around. 

One of the boys holding onto the back fell and hit his head, prosecutors allege, blacking out for 20-30 seconds.

Pictured: 47-year-old mother Shannon O'Connor, who is accused of throwing sex parties for her son and his friends

O'Connor's son at the time was reportedly a player on the Los Gatos High School's freshman football team; the mother of one of the girls involved said the boys were teammates.

The mother said she raised her concerns about the drinking at parties with coaches and school officials at the start of 2021, but she was told there was nothing they could do about it because it was off campus.

'I really don't think the high school has taken responsibility for their piece of this,' the mother told Mercury News. 

Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District said in a statement that it investigates 'any issues that arise on our campuses and work closely with law enforcement to support their investigation into matters that take place outside of school.' 

'It is important to note that we take the topic of underage drinking very seriously and work continuously to promote awareness and dialogue in our classrooms and our community,' the district said.

'Additionally, parents and families also play a crucial role in setting clear expectations for the behavior of our young people and in monitoring their activities. Only together can we effectively address social issues such as substance abuse.' 

The DA said O'Conner is facing felony charges including child abuse and sexual assault, and she faces unrelated fraud charges of more than $120,000 in unauthorized charges on  company credit. 

She was an administrative assistant at Aruba Networks.

'Everyone should feel relieved this woman's not on the street,' the mother of one of the girls told Mercury News. 

'She was grooming these kids, setting them up for sexual acts, and she's a mother and doing this to her own child. … I've been racking my brain trying to think what was in it for her.'