A New Jersey grand jury declined to indict a mother accused of child endangerment for allegedly allowing her 5-year-old daughter to use a tanning bed, resulting in leg burns, prosecutors said Tuesday.
New Jersey law bans children under 14 years old from using tanning salons.
Patricia Krentcil, 44, of Nutley, New Jersey, pleaded not guilty last May to second-degree child endangerment and has been free on $25,000 bail. The girl remained in her parents’ custody during the grand jury proceedings.
The Essex County, New Jersey, grand jury issued its “no bill” Tuesday, said Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray.
“The decision to no bill the case became official today,” said a statement from Murray’s office. “That ends the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office involvement with this matter.”
Last April, school officials noticed burns on the girl’s legs and reported the injuries to authorities. Following an investigation, Krentcil was arrested on April 24, 2012, prosecutors said.
“We presented all the available evidence in the case to the grand jury, both the state’s evidence and the defense’s evidence. The grand jurors voted not to indict Mrs. Krentcil. We respect their decision,” Assistant Prosecutor Gina Iosim said in a statement. She presented the case to the grand jury.
Prosecutors had accused Krentcil of allowing her daughter inside a stand-up tanning booth at a salon in the northern New Jersey town of Nutley.
Last year, Krentcil’s attorney said that Krentcil allowed her daughter to accompany her to the salon, but never allowed the girl into a booth.