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Lakewood Spa Owner Reacts To New Jersey Child Tanning Flap

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Patricia Krentcil with her daughter Anna (credit: CBS)

Patricia Krentcil with her daughter Anna (credit: CBS)

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LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – A mother in New Jersey is facing criminal charges for allegedly taking her little girl into a tanning booth. The highly bronzed woman denies the charge, but admits she’s a regular at a tanning salon.

The story comes from the same state that brought the “Jersey Shore” crowd to fame, whose credo is “GTL” — gym, tan, laundry.

“I’ve been tanning my whole life, going to the beach, tanning salons and so forth,” Patricia Krentcil said.

It’s obvious Krentcil, 44, believes bronze — very bronze — is beautiful. But the mother of five from Nutley, N.J. says she would never tan her 5-year-old, red-haired, fair-skinned daughter, Anna.

“Not at all, not at all, not whatsoever,” she said.

But Krentcil was in court Wednesday, charged with child endangerment. Nutley police allege she took Anna to a tanning salon and into a tanning bed causing a slight burn.

“Forget about the presumption of innocence, my client is 150 percent innocent. That child was never in that tanning booth,” Krentcil’s lawyer said.

Krentcil says Anna got her sunburn playing outside.

“She’s 6 years old; yeah she does go tanning with mommy, but not in the booth,” Krentcil said.

Under New Jersey law children under 14 are not allowed to tan at indoor salons. In Colorado it’s not against the law for a minor to tan in a spa.

“She makes our industry look bad,” spa owner Beth Salomonis said.

Salomonis owns Sun Spa in Lakewood. She’s heard the allegations against the New Jersey mother.

“It creates a scare and makes a negative connotation of tanning,” Salomonis said.

By choice, Salomonis doesn’t allow anyone under 14 to use her tanning beds. At her salon, teens 15 to 18 need parental consent.

“It just seems like a safe liability way to play to not let anybody young tan,” she said.

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