The Los Gatos mother accused of hosting wild, alcohol-fueled parties for her underaged son and his friends is now facing additional criminal charges in a new grand jury indictment.
Monday morning, Shannon O’Connor pleaded not guilty to all the charges, which came with seven additional felonies. The added felonies include allegedly encouraging sexual acts between some of the teens. O’Connor now faces a total potential sentencing of 31 years if found guilty, instead of 17 years based on her earlier charges.
The criminal grand jury indictment is in lieu of a traditional preliminary hearing for O’Connor – a preliminary hearing that’s been hit by multiple delays. Most recently, in August, O’Connor couldn’t show up to court for a scheduled preliminary hearing because she was just discharged from the hospital after getting a serious skin infection at the jail.
Deputy District Attorney Rebekah Wise is the prosecutor on the case. She said the original arraignment was over two years ago, and the anxiety felt by the numerous young allege victims over when they had to testify was building.
“Testifying in court can be a very difficult process for any person who is a victim of a crime, so what we at the District Attorney’s Office seek to do is get our victims through this court process without retraumatizing them,” she said.
In an earlier exclusive statement to NBC Bay Area, O’Connor said she was also frustrated by the delays.
“I’ve been waiting for two years for this moment. I don’t want this postponed. I want to move forward,” O’Connor said in a written statement.
O’Connor has been in custody, awaiting trial for more than two years after being criminal charged for allegedly throwing booze-fueled parties for underaged teens.
A hearing to set a trial date is scheduled for Dec. 20.
Source: NBC Bay Area