Bay Area woman accused of hosting secret teenage parties filled with alcohol and sex

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LOS GATOS – A woman from South Bay has been accused of having organized a series of illegal parties for her son and his friends in which investigators say she provided alcohol, made them binge and binge them. manipulated to have sex with intoxicated teenage girls – in some cases, facilitating sexual assault.

Shannon Bruga, also known as Shannon O’Connor, awaits extradition to Santa Clara County after being arrested on Saturday in Ada County, Idaho, where she has a home in addition to her residence in Los Gatos which is currently on the market.

She faces 39 criminal charges, including 12 counts of felony and 10 counts of endangering children, one count of sexual assault, three counts of child abuse and 13 counts of child abuse. offense of supplying alcohol to minors.

In a plan of investigation submitted by prosecutors, Bruga, 47, is characterized as obsessed with using text messages and Snapchat to throw secret alcohol-filled parties attended by up to 20 teens, in which she was the only adult and where she often caused them to drink to the point of sickness or unconsciousness.

“It took a lot of brave kids to come forward and unravel this deeply troubling matter,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a statement. “As a parent, I am shocked. As a prosecutor, I am determined to hold adults who endanger children fully accountable to the law and our community.

There is no immediate indication that any of the teens described as engaging in sexual acts with drunk girls at Bruga parties will be prosecuted. Charges against a minor are generally not made public.

“It’s so terrible what she did to my daughter and these other children,” said the mother of one of the girls, who is not identified because her daughter was the victim of a crime. presumed. “My heart is breaking for these children. It was devastating. It is a parent’s worst nightmare.

The parties reportedly lasted from June 2020 – in the midst of the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic – to May 2021 and included at least half a dozen large events and several smaller gatherings mainly involving 14 and 15 year olds. .

A dominant element of the parties, as the teens reportedly told investigators, was that Bruga encouraged teens to have sex or engage in sexual acts, with minors being in various states of intoxication, suggesting that many sexual interactions were not consensual.

Bruga’s son at the time was a player on the Los Gatos High School freshman football team, and the mother of one of the girls said the boys involved were teammates. This mother said she raised her concerns about alcohol use to coaches and school officials earlier in the year, but was told since it was in off campus and there was nothing they could do.

“I really don’t think the high school took responsibility for her part of this,” the mother said.

In a statement, the Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District said it is actively investigating “any issue that arises on our campuses and is working closely with law enforcement to support their investigation of issues that take place outside of school “.

“It is important to note that we take the subject of underage alcohol use very seriously and are constantly working to promote awareness and dialogue in our classrooms and our community,” the statement said. “In addition, parents and families also play a crucial role in setting clear expectations regarding the behavior of our young people and in monitoring their activities. It is only together that we can effectively address social issues such as drug addiction.

Bruga has reportedly been adamant that the teens who attended these parties are keeping them a secret, and she is accused of helping teens out of their homes at night and driving them to her house. According to investigators, she is accused of harassing at least one teenager whom she suspected of having broken the secret.

She also reportedly went to great lengths to hide the holidays from her husband Robert Amaral, who is currently the chief revenue officer of SlashNext, a Pleasanton-based tech company.

The physical toll of the parties’ participants was considerable, as court documents claim. Several teenagers reported drinking to the point of vomiting profusely, and the intoxication was so severe that a teenager broke a finger.

Investigators say Bruga saw a boy punch and kick a drunk girl and did not intervene.

Bruga is also accused of leading a boy to a room where the same girl was lying on a bed “and having entered and left consciousness”. After Bruga left the room, the boy allegedly sexually assaulted the girl.

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