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Mom pleads not guilty to allowing daughter in tanning booth

By Dan Verello, CNN
updated 8:12 PM EDT, Wed May 2, 2012
  • Patricia Krentcil pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to child endangerment charges
  • She has been accused of illegally allowing her 6-year-old daughter to tan at a salon
  • Krentcil has denied the charges

(CNN) -- A New Jersey mother pleaded not guilty Wednesday to child endangerment charges after being accused of illegally allowing her 6-year-old daughter to tan at a salon, according to prosecutors.

Patricia Krentcil, 44, was arrested on April 24 and later released on $25,000 bail following the alleged incident, said Katherine Carter, a spokeswoman for the Essex County Prosecutor's Office.

Prosecutors say Krentcil allowed her daughter inside a stand-up tanning booth at a salon in the northern New Jersey town of Nutley. It's not clear when the incident is alleged to have taken place.

Krentcil's attorney said the charges are unfounded.

New Jersey mom's unbelievable tan

"Forget about the presumption of innocence. My client is 150 percent innocent," John D. Caruso told reporters Wednesday. "She loves that child more than her own life and would never, ever, allow her child to go inside a tanning bed."

He said that Krentcil allowed her daughter to accompany her to the salon, but never allowed the girl into a booth.

New Jersey law makes use of artificial tanning facilities by children under the age of 14 illegal. Children over age 14 can use tanning equipment only with permission of a guardian.

Krentcil's next court appearance is scheduled for June 4.