(MCT) — A very tan New Jersey mother, who gained Internet notoriety after she was accused of forcing her 5-year-old daughter onto a tanning bed, has been vindicated in court.
Essex County prosecutors said Tuesday that a grand jury has declined to indict Patricia Krentcil on second-degree child endangerment charges.
“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 said in a statement. “The grand jurors voted not to indict Mrs. Krentcil. We respect their decision.”
Although Krentcil, 44, was sporting a deeply tan complexion at the time of her indictment, she said all along that her daughter never went in a tanning booth and just got sunburn. Under New Jersey law, children younger than 14 are not allowed in tanning beds.
“What this world did in the past year made of mockery of me,” a significantly paler Krentcil shouted down to reporters who assembled below her Nutley home on Tuesday night, according to footage from CBS 2 in New York. Her husband also briefly appeared.
She called her case, which went viral on the Internet, “the biggest ridiculous thing in the world.”
At one point, a Connecticut novelty company began selling a “tanorexic action figure” based on Krentcil, who was also mocked in a “Saturday Night Live” sketch (which she admitted was “hysterical”).
Krentcil said she was thinking about moving to London and that she had “a lot of modeling jobs.”
Defiant, she also said she didn’t plan on giving up tanning.
“Yeah, I like to tan,” she said. “I don’t think that’s a crime, and I’m still going to tan.”