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NEWARK, N.J. — A woman whose own skin is deeply bronze-colored from regular visits to a tanning salon has been accused of taking her 5-year-old daughter into a tanning booth in violation of state law, burning the girl's skin.
Through her attorney, Patricia Krentcil, 44, of Nutley, entered a plea of not guilty Wednesday in Superior Court to a charge of child endangerment. New Jersey law bars anyone under 14 from using a tanning salon.
Prior to the hearing, Krentcil called the accusation a lie.
"It's all made up," she said.
She told The Associated Press her daughter got sunburned by being outside on a recent warm day. She said her daughter, however, had mentioned to school officials when she complained of itching that she had been to a tanning salon with her mother.
She had told various TV stations her daughter was in the room at the salon but not in the stand-up tanning booth.
Her attorney, John Caruso, said outside court that the evidence will show the child never entered the tanning booth. He said Krentcil will be exonerated.
Krentcil said she loves tanning and has visited salons for many years but would not do anything to jeopardize her daughter's health.
"Never in my life would I endanger my child by putting her in a tanning booth. I'm not dumb," she said before her scheduled hearing.
Police in Nutley told The Record newspaper they were called to the child's school April 24 because the kindergartner was in pain from a "pretty severe sunburn."