NUTLEY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey woman said she felt vindicated Tuesday night, after a grand jury decided not to indict her for allegedly letting her young daughter into a tanning booth.
As CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis reported, Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray announced Tuesday that a grand jury let Patricia Krentcil, the so-called “Tanning Mom,” off the hook.
Krentcil, 44, said while she is satisfied with the outcome, she is still hurt.
“What this world did, this past year, made a mockery of me, and I don’t appreciate that,” she said.
She and her husband stood on the steps of their home in Nutley on Tuesday, hours after the grand jury’s decision.
Last year, with a much deeper tan, she was accused of tanning her then-5-year-old daughter, Anna. She denied the claim.
“No. Not at all, Not at all. Not whatsoever,” Krentcil said at the time.
She stood by her earlier words Tuesday.
“My daughter never tanned!” she said.
But that was the allegation after Anna’s school nurse noticed a burn on her legs and notified police in April 2012. She said when the nurse asked her daughter how she got burned, her daughter simply said, “I go tanning with mommy.”
That led to child endangerment charges against Krentcil.
“This turned into a biggest, ridiculous thing in the world,” she said.
Under New Jersey law, children under 14 years old are banned from using tanning salons.
However, Krentcil said her daughter’s burn was not from getting into a tanning bed, but from being outside and playing in the backyard.
Last year, Krentcil answered the challenge of “In Touch” magazine to go without the rays — real and fake — for a month.
The “Tanning Mom” was also in the headlines in 2012 for making an appearance at Lady Bunny and Bianca Del Rio’s weekly HOT MESS Wednesday night drag show at the XL nightclub on West 42nd Street.
She was billed on the club’s website as the “Redhot Media Sensation.” A YouTube video showed a seemingly drunk Krentcil staggering a bit on stage while being led by one of the performers to a chair. On the way, she danced and posed for the crowd in a tight red dress.
Now with the case behind her, Krentcil said she plans to move to London.
She said she is moving “because I have a lot of modeling jobs, and I’m just done with this stupid place.”
But Krentcil said she will keep her home in Nutley, and will continue to tan.
“I like to tan,” she said. “I don’t think that’s a crime, and I’m still going to tan, and I don’t care what anyone has to say.”
In the end, Krentcil’s comments were brief, and there was no sign of her young daughter whose sunburn started it all.
Krentcil had been free on $25,000 bail throughout the process. She was required to post 10 percent of that bail. Her daughter remained in her parents’ custody as the case proceeded through the grand jury.
“We presented all the available evidence in the case to the grand jury, both the state’s evidence and the defense’s evidence. The grand jurors voted not to indict Mrs. Krentcil. We respect their decision,” Assistant Prosecutor Gina Iosim said.
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