On Saturday, January 17, at 6:45 in the evening, a young woman, 22-years-old, arrived at the Willits office of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department. She had a number of visible injuries, and told the deputies that she had been beaten and sexually assaulted by the man she was living with, 26-year-old Sean Michael Shannon.
According to the Sheriff’s office, she was taken to Howard Memorial Hospital about a mile away. Sheriff’s detectives interviewed the victim, who told them she was attacked and forcibly sodomized by Shannon at their home on Birch Street, a wooded area to the north of the main town of Willits. She told them she had tried to escape, but Shannon had held her there and continued beating her. She eventually got away, and contacted a relative, who helped her get to the Sheriff’s office.
Sean Shannon has, by all accounts, a very violent past, which includes several incidents of domestic violence. According to past arrest records, he was charged in February 2009 with inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or co-habitant, and possession of tools to commit vandalism. He would have been 19-years-old at that time. Later, in June of that year he was again charged with domestic violence and assault with a deadly weapon. Another domestic violence charge came in August, along with a count of vandalism. (Vandalism charges accompanying domestic violence usually means an attack on property or a vehicle during the incident.)
In 2010, records show four violations of a domestic relations court order and probation violations, along with another charge, in May, of domestic violence and assault with a deadly weapon. In May of 2011 he was charged with battery causing serious injury, in June a court order violation, and in July with inflicting corporal injury to a child, along with a court order violation. Records from the next three years show several unspecified probation violations and driving with a suspended license, speeding or seatbelt violations, but no indication of any more violent incidents, until this one.
Whether the victim was aware of Shannon’s past is not clear. From Facebook postings it appears that the relationship between her and Shannon was a relatively new one, and that she is also a single mother. (She has since removed herself from Shannon’s “Friend” list.) Some postings showed a dispute among her friends about her new relationship with Shannon, but none indicated any reservations about violence.
After the report was filed, Sheriff’s deputies and detectives were able to locate and arrest Shannon at his home on Birch Street. He was booked into the Mendocino County Jail on charges of inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or co-habitant, false imprisonment by violence, and sodomy against a victim’s will be means of force, violence or duress. Bail was set at $100,00.00, and he remains in custody.