America's 'Tan Mom' escapes prosecution

Last updated 09:47 28/02/2013

A New Jersey mother with a passion for tanning denies of charge of child endangerment by allowing her five-year-old daughter into a tanning booth.

Patricia Krentcil denies taking her daughter to a tanning salon.
BRONZED MUM: Patricia Krentcil denies taking her daughter to a tanning salon.

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The case of the deeply bronzed New Jersey woman known as "Tan Mom" appears destined to fade away.

A US grand jury has declined to indict her on child endangerment charges, a prosecutor said.

Patricia Krentcil was arrested in April 2012 after her then 5-year-old daughter showed up at school with a sunburn and officials accused her of taking the child into a tanning booth.

At the time, the blonde mother's chocolate-brown hue testified to many hours spent under the intense ultraviolet light of a tanning bed or out in the sun soaking up rays.

New Jersey is among several states that have adopted regulations prohibiting anyone age 14 or under from tanning with using ultraviolet devices because of the risk of skin cancer.

Patricia Krentcil addressed reporters outside her Nutley home after the ruling by yelling: "cha-ching!"

She said her life had been "a living hell" and she planned to move to London for a year to decompress while her husband and kids stay in New Jersey.

Krentcil became a tabloid sensation because of her own deep tan and professed love of tanning. She has insisted "tanning is not a crime" and has vowed to keep at it.

Asked what she learned from the whole episode, she replied, "People suck."

Krentcil's attorney Natalia Diaz hailed the panel's decision, noting that the mother of could have faced a prison term of up to 10 years had she been convicted of the charge.

"The case was just basically ridiculous," Diaz said. "It's almost like a witch hunt."

The child, now 6, is fair-skinned and showed up at school with a sunburn after spending time outside on a sunny day, not in a tanning booth, Diaz said.

- AP and Reuters

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