A grand jury in New Jersey has decided to let a woman who became an overnight sensation as ‘the tanning mom’ bronze away in peace.
Prosecutors in Newark said Tuesday a grand jury refused to indict Patricia Krentcil on a charge she took her young daughter into a tanning booth with her. New Jersey state law bans children under 14 from using tanning salons.
‘We presented all the available evidence in the case to the grand jury, both the state’s evidence and the defense’s evidence,’ Assistant Prosecutor Gina Iosim stated in a press release. ‘The grand jurors voted not to indict Mrs. Krentcil. We respect their decision,” she added.
Spared: A grand jury in New Jersey refused to indict Patricia Krentcil on a charge she took her young daughter into a tanning booth
The 44-year-old Nutley woman was arrested last April and charged with second-degree child endangerment for allegedly bringing her then-five-year-old daughter into a tanning booth.
Police became involved after school officials noticed burns on Krentcil’s daughter’s legs. Krentcil said that her daughter’s burn came from staying in the sun in the backyard on an unusually warm day and that she would never take the girl into a tanning booth.
The arrest generated wide publicity partly because of Krentcil’s deep tan and professed love of tanning salons. Her instant fame even extended to a toy company making a ‘tanoerexic’ action figure based on her.
The arrest and subsequent media frenzy also brought unwanted attention to the northern New Jersey tanning salon that Krentcil had frequented, and the salon incurred fines unrelated to the allegation against Krentcil.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, Krentcil has been free on $25,000 bail. Her daughter remained in her parents’ custody while the jury deliberated. Prosecutors said the case is now over.
Krentcil was arrested on the morning of April 24, 2012, and charged with child endangerment for allegedly taking her five-year-old daughter, Addison, to City Tropics tanning salon on Centre Street in Nutley.
The 44-year-old has maintained her innocence, claiming that the entire episode was a big misunderstanding.
According to CBS New York, Krentcil said when a school nurse asked her daughter how she got burns on her legs, the girl replied: ‘I go tanning with mommy.’
Following her arrest, the woman explained that she treated her trips to the tanning salon as an errand in which she brought her daughter along, but she insisted that the child had never been exposed to harmful UV rays.
Living hell: Patricia Krentcil, pictured left, said her life had become ‘a living hell’ since she was arrested for allegedly taking her six-year-old daughter, right, to a salon last April
‘It’s like taking your daughter to go food shopping,’ she told NBC News. ‘I tan, she doesn’t tan. I’m in the booth, she’s in the room. That’s all there is to it.’
The grand jury’s decision to clear Krentcil in the case comes just days after the ultra-bronzed woman revealed her plan to escape her ‘living hell’ in New Jersey by moving to rain-soaked London where she plans to launch her own tanning lotion – and resume her favorite pastime.
Krentcil, 44, said her life had become unbearable since she was arrested for allegedly taking her six-year-old daughter to a salon last April, and subsequently banned from tanning beds across the tri-state area.
‘It is almost a year now since I was arrested and, no exaggeration, my life has become a living hell. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat and all I do is cry,’ she said.
The mother of five, who denies the charges against her, told the UK’s The Sun newspaper she’s struggled to keep it together since being branded the ‘world’s most evil mum’ and has contemplated suicide over the past year.
Her husband, Richard, 47, lost his job on Wall Street and her children, including fair-skinned four-year-old Addison, who sparked the controversy when her teacher noticed burns on her body, have been bullied at school.
She said they no longer wanted to be seen with her because of the abuse hurled at them every time they go out in public and added that her marriage was hanging on by a thread.
But Krentcil, who was spotted dancing provocatively at a New York nightclub earlier this month, wasn’t planning to give up her habit.
Keeping it classy: A lighter-skinned Patricia Krentcil was photographed throwing back a glass of wine at XL Cabaret in New York City in August
Banned: Patricia Krentcil, pictured left and right, was banned from tanning beds across the tri-state area after her arrest
New life: Krentcil, pictured, said she hoped moving overseas would salvage her family
She said she was eager to take up tanning again when she gets to England – where rules on sun beds are far more relaxed than they are in the US.
‘I was born to tan,’ she told The Sun. ‘But in the past year I have been banned from tanning salons. Now I have to spend hours covering myself in tanning lotion to get the color I want.’
However Krentcil, who last year was cooking herself up to 20 times a month, told The New York Daily News the move was more about escaping the pandemonium her arrest has caused than finding a tanning salon that would take her business.
‘I could go tanning if I wanted to. I just haven’t,’ she told the newspaper.
She said she loved London and was hoping the move would salvage her family, adding that there was no future for in New Jersey.
Take two: Krentcil, pictured, was recently spotted dancing at New York nightclub XL
Escape: But the woman wants to escape her hellish life in the US
Moving overseas was the only way she and her family could find happiness again she said, adding that she is looking forward to being anonymous in the UK where she believes people are more educated and open-minded than they are in the US.
According to The Sun, Krentcil is also planning to launch her own range of tanning products when she touches down.
‘I want to start selling my own tanning lotion there and I’m so excited about finally being able to live my life in peace,’ she told The Sun.
Tanning Mom is facing charges of child endangerment, and if convicted could spend a decade in jail.
She said as soon as they can, the family will put their home on the market and move to the dreary city.
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