NUTLEY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey mother has pleaded not guilty to a child endangerment charge after allegedly allowing her 6-year-old daughter to tan at a salon.
Patricia Krentcil appeared in Superior Court in Newark on Wednesday. She did not speak during her brief court appearance, except to say “Thank you, your honor, have a nice day.”
1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports
CBS 2 learned on Wednesday night the owners of the tanning salon she frequents, Tropics Tanning Salon, have banned her from the facility as her case winds its way through court, CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis reported. CBS 2 also learned that Krentcil would go tanning every other day for 12-minute sessions.
The salon has revoked her membership and is refunding her money, Dennis reported.
Krentcil has denied the charge, saying she “would never permit” her daughter, Anna, to go tanning. The 44-year-old mother spoke as she left court, admitting she has a problem with excessive tanning, but that she would never let her little girl tan.
“That child was never in that tanning booth,” attorney John D. Caruso said. “She loves her child more than her own life and would never ever allow her child to go inside that tanning bed.”
“I’m innocent,” Krentcil said outside the court, adding “Somebody is an idiot out there.”
“I’m very upset, I think it was a rush to judgement,” her husband Rich said Wednesday night.
The mother of five previously admitted to bringing Anna into the salon, but said she’s never allowed the fair-skinned girl into the tanning bed.
“It didn’t happen,” Krentcil said. “She’s 6 years old. Yes, she does go tanning with mommy, but not in the booth.”
But according to prosecutors, Krentcil took her 6-year-old to a tanning salon near her home in Nutley and actually brought the child into a tanning bed, causing a slight sunburn.
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When a school nurse asked how she got it, Anna simply said “I go tanning with mommy.” That’s when police were called and Krentcil was arrested.
The owner of the Nutley tanning salon told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg that Krentcil is a regular and tans there at least 20 times a month.
“We just don’t let them in…if a mother wanted to bring a kid in, we’d throw them the hell out of here,” said the salon owner.
Krentcil called the entire tanning situation a misunderstanding and said her daughter got the sunburn from playing in the backyard.
“Look at my daughter’s picture, she’s as pale as a ghost, she has red hair,” Krentcil said outside court Wednesday. “I’m a great mother, I’m a wonderful mother. I would die right now for her.”
1010 WINS’ John Montone reports
Anna is still living with her mother. When asked if she’s worried about losing her daughter, Krentcil said she wasn’t.
“She’s home, they’re not taking her away. She’s home,” Krentcil told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.
In New Jersey, anyone under the age of 14 is prohibited from using tanning salons.
CBS 2 has learned Krentcil has a criminal past, a 1997 assault conviction for biting a cab driver and a DWI a year earlier, Sloan reported. Krentcil’s next court appearance in this case is set for June 4.
People can’t stop talking about Krentcil, and have very strong feelings about her tanning. “The Talk” co-host Aisha Tyler said Wednesday, “She is obviously very sick. She looks like cancer with feet.”
Fans of CBSNewYork’s Facebook page are saying everything from, “The daughter said she tans with her mom…that little girl is NOT going to lie. She doesnt know what it is to lie!, to “I’m glad this child came right out and told authorities about what her mother has been doing and how she was exposed to being in a tanning booth. This mother is sick.”
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