Los Gatos 'Party Mom' rejects judges 17-year sentence offer; will proceed to trial

Wearing a forest green prison uniform, Shannon O’Connor sat in Dept. 39 of the Hall of Justice, and listened as Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Peterson announced, Tuesday, this case would continue to pre-trail motions. O’Connor – through her attorney – declined to plead guilty and accept an indicated sentence of 17 years behind bars.

"I’m not exactly surprised by this given the conduct in this case to place over the course of nine months. And that took extensive action to try to hide what she was doing from law enforcement. From parents, for quite some time," said Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Rebekah Wise.

O’Connor is accused of felony child endangerment, child molestation and sexual battery. 39-count complaint stems from alleged alcohol-fueled sex parties in 2021 for teens, which sometimes involved underage children.

In April, some victims, in impact statements, told Judge Peterson O’Connor made them lie to cover up the abuse from their parents and law enforcement.

"I was manipulated to lie to my parents…these events still traumatize me," wrote a minor whom the court identified as John Doe #1. "Shannon had a huge negative effect. She shaped me into being a kid who lies," wrote John Doe #2.

"This is a very challenging case because of the impact its created on so many people. But miss O'Connor is entitled to a fair trial," said legal analyst Steve Clark.

In declining to plead guilty, O’Connor is turning down 17 years behind bars, which is three years shorter than the maximum sentence of 20 years.

Clark believes the next move by defense attorney Brian Madden could be to seek a change of venue.

"You want a jury to come in with a clean slate and give miss O’Connor the benefit of the doubt. The problem is with her willingness to accept a court offer, how is a jury going to come in and say she’s not guilty?," he said.


Victims of 'Los Gatos Party Mom' tell judge she deserves maximum sentence

Victims confront Shannon O'Connor in court, and many said they're still traumatized by her actions.

Prosecutors said witness testimony and mounds of evidence will make their case should this case eventually reach a jury.

"The defendant was extreme in her actions. So our goal is to get justice for the victims and the community. So, whether that happens on a shorten timeline or a longer one, it does not matter to me," said Wise.

O’Connor will wait in a jail cell until she returns to court, first on Aug. 17 for an evidentiary hearing, and Aug. 21 for a preliminary hearing. At that time, she could formally enter a not guilty plea, after being prepared to plead guilty.

Jesse Gary is a reporter based in the station's South Bay bureau. Follow him on Twitter, @JesseKTVU or Instagram, @jessegontv