Accused tanning mom enters not-guilty plea

A Nutley, New Jersey woman has been arrested and charged for allegedly bringing her young child to a tanning booth.

May 2, 2012 2:14:33 PM PDT
A woman whose own skin is deeply bronze-colored from regular visits to a tanning salon says she is not guilty of taking her 5-year-old daughter into a tanning booth in violation of state law.

The 5-year-old child suffered burns to her body.

Patricia Krentcil, 44, was arrested and charged with second-degree child endangerment.

New Jersey law states nobody under the age of 14 is allowed to use a tanning facility. Anyone under the age of 18 needs parental consent.

Officials say the mother took the child into the tanning booth with her without salon's knowledge. Krentcil, who is very tan, says her daughter was in the room at the tanning salon, but not the booth.

"I never once in my life would let my daughter especially at that age go into a tanning booth," Krentcil said during an interview on Good Morning America.

No charges are being filed against the salon at this time.

Through her attorney, Patricia Krentcil, 44, of Nutley, entered a plea of not guilty Wednesday in Superior Court to a charge of child endangerment. New Jersey law bars anyone under 14 from using a tanning salon.

Prior to the hearing, Krentcil called the accusation a lie.

"It's all made up," she said.

Her attorney, John Caruso, said outside court that Krentcil will be exonerated, because the evidence will show the child never entered the booth.

"Forget about the presumption of innocence; my client is 150 percent innocent," Caruso said. "She loves that child more than her whole life. She would never, ever allow her child to go inside a tanning bed."

The child is still living at home with her mother, Caruso told Municipal Court Judge Roslyn Holmes-Grant, though he said the state's child welfare agency is monitoring the family.

Krentcil said she loves tanning and has visited salons for many years but would not do anything to jeopardize her daughter's health.

"Never in my life would I endanger my child by putting her in a tanning booth. I'm not dumb," she said before her scheduled hearing. Outside court, she called herself "a wonderful mother."

Krentcil remained free on a $2,500 cash bond. She is scheduled to make her next court appearance on June 4.


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