May 10, 2023
Last month, Shannon O’Connor sat in the Santa Clara County Superior Court as victims and parents spoke out and encouraged Judge Elizabeth Peterson to hand down a maximum sentence. O’Conner is perhaps better known as the “Los Gatos Party Mom” who was arrested in October 2021 and faces 39 criminal counts of felony child abuse, sexual assault, providing alcohol to minors, and other miscellaneous crimes.
Prosecutors allege that O’Connor befriended girls through her two teenage sons and social media. At the time, the girls were only freshman at Los Gatos High School. The Party Mom allegedly lured 14 and 15-year-old girls to her $4.7 million mansion in Los Gatos with lavish gifts. Once she developed a relationship with the girls, the Los Gatos Party Mom allegedly threw “large, wild parties in the Silicon Valley town, where she served alcohol to high school students and encouraged the teenagers to have sex, some of which may have been nonconsensual,” according to a report from the San Francisco Gate.
In addition to underage sex, those alcohol-fueled parties with teenagers reportedly led to “…alleged rapes, and then lie-after-lie to complete a cover-up,” a report from KTVU said. Investigators also say that the Los Gatos Party Mom pressured teenagers to binge drink and engage in sex for O’Connor’s own sexual gratification. Some of the victims were as young as 13, according to a report from the Daily Mail.
Last month, 15 people out of a possible 25 alleged victims read what are known as victim impact statements before Judge Peterson as she considered what sentence to hand down. Many of the victims were reportedly crying while giving their testimony, and the details were disturbing.
“This woman tore my life apart. I have suffered and had to deal with the reputation of being ‘the girl that got raped.’ I will live my high school years with this cloud over me,” a girl, identified only as Jane Doe 8, said last month in court.
Other girls described being sexually assaulted by boys while they were extremely intoxicated and unable to give consent under the law – all while O’Connor watched.
“Shannon doesn’t have a conscience. She is a con-artist. I will never have the life I once had. And neither should she,” Jane Doe 8 added during her victim impact statement.
A girl identified as Jane Doe 9 told the judge that she has nightmares as a result of the trauma inflicted by the Los Gatos Party Mom. Jane Doe 9 added that every morning she wakes up, she thanks God for being free from stalking, threats, and harassments inflicted by O’Connor, according to a KRON 4 report.
“Her actions are bizarre. She is a manipulator and a narcissist. She continues to show signs of no remorse,” Jane Doe 9 said.
And the Party Mom’s alleged criminal activity beyond the upscale Los Gatos, California, community.
“When the Los Gatos Police Department launched an investigation into the mother of two in 2021, O’Connor fled with her sons from California to Idaho, and moved to the same town that Jane Doe 8 had recently moved to,” KRON 4 said.
“Shannon moved to my town in Idaho. I got 27 calls with no caller ID’s. It was Shannon breathing into the phone, haunting me. I can’t even describe how terrified I was, I thought I was going to get killed,” Jane Doe 8 said in court.
According to KRON 4, O’Connor continued stalking Jane Doe 8 through TikTok, Instagram, and at her workplace.
Jane Doe 8’s mother told the judge:
“She is the rapist of my child’s innocence. For months, I asked and asked for Shannon to stop. Stop contacting my children, my daughter will never be allowed to have a relationship with your son.”
Countless alleged victims and their parents spoke in court during the April hearing, all imploring the judge to sentence O’Connor to more than eight years. If she receives an eight-year sentence, with good inmate behavior, O’Connor could be released from prison in as little as four years, KRON 4 reported.
Judge Peterson did not make any ruling at the April hearing, and the Los Gatos Party Mom was ordered to return to court on May 16.
O’Connor’s husband, Robert Amaral, reportedly filed for divorce around the time of Party Mom’s 2021 arrest, according to KRON 4. Court documents indicate that O’Connor was always the only adult present at the wild parties, and that she went to “great lengths to keep the parties secret from police, parents, and her husband.”
But as Dordulian Law Group’s founder and president, Sam Dordulian, discussed on a yet-to-air Nancy Grace podcast, while Party Mom faces criminal charges, her husband could potentially be held civilly liable for the alleged child abuse and sexual assaults.
Criminal law is an entirely different process when compared with civil law. While Shannon O’Connor could potentially serve a number of years in prison for victimizing numerous Los Gatos teenagers, the fact that the majority of the underage parties occurred in the home she shared with her husband, Robert Amaral, opens him up to civil liability.
“I don’t doubt that this woman went to great lengths to conceal her nefarious actions, but these were wild parties involving teenagers with access to social media. I find it hard to believe that numerous bashes with underage drinking and alleged sexual assaults could have been kept concealed as some sort of state secret for even a day. And unless her husband was on the moon for several months, if a civil action is brought, he’ll have to explain not only how but also why he supposedly had zero knowledge of these events despite living under the same roof,” attorney Sam Dordulian said.
With criminal proceedings, meeting the burden of proof is always a challenge for prosecutors. Prosecuting attorneys must demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that the Los Gatos Party Mom committed the actions outlined in the 39 criminal counts.
However, with civil litigation, the burden of proof is much lower. And in this case, with O’Connor’s husband potentially having knowledge of the parties and failing to take any action, he could theoretically be held liable in civil court by the victims and their families.
Sexual assault civil claims can ensure survivors obtain justice as well as maximum financial compensation for harm endured. In California, a number of damages may be recoverable in a sexual assault civil claim:
To speak with an experienced and proven Dordulian Law Group (DLG) sexual assault attorney, contact us today at 866-GO-SEE-SAM.
DLG is led by a proven litigator – Sam Dordulian – who previously served as a sex crimes prosecutor in the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office and has garnered more than 100 jury trial victories.
DLG is a leading national firm with a team of skilled sexual assault lawyers. And we offer proven results for survivors, including more than $100,000,000.00 in settlements and verdicts recovered for our clients.
Some of our recent sexual assault and abuse case victories include:
Our law firm in Glendale, CA advocates for victims of sexual assault, injury, employment disputes, and personal injury concerns.