PAPA People Assisting Parents Association

© 2007-now
Bookmark and Share
donate button
PAPA logo
notice board blogger icon
New links

Deeply bronzed mom charged of child abuse. Doctors said that she is Tanorexic.

Patricia Krentcil charged of child endangerment on 30 April 2012

Patricia Krentcil of New Jersey tans in tanning salon so often that her face has turned deeply bronzed. She made 20 visits a month to a local tanning salon, a habit that dates back two decades. She also added makeup to look even darker. It is hard to tell that she is a Caucasian without examining her facial features carefully.

Her habit created a major problem to her family and caused much unwanted publicity when a school nurse noticed sunburn on her 5-year old daughter and reported the perceived abuse to child protective service (CPS). There is no indication that the nurse had asked the parents the cause of her sunburn before calling CPS.

Allegedly, her child had some rash and appeared to have suffered from sunburn. The 44-year old mom is subsequently charged of second degree child endangerment for letting her daughter go in a tanning booth. She pleads not guilty to the charge and is released on a $25,000 cash bail.

Supported by her husband Richard, Patricia Krentcil insisted that it was just a sunburn caused by weekend gardening, not child abuse or endangerment.

Dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner, of Mount Sinai Medical Center, explained the situation to the the New York Daily News:

"Going to a tanning salon 20 times a month is insane, especially with all of the public education and awareness campaigns on the dangers of tanning beds and skin cancers. It may be she (Patricia Krentcil) has an addiction to tanning, which actually now has a name tanorexia. She may need help to treat not only the damage to her skin, but also what is going on with her psychologically."

Dermatologist Dr. Doris Day (news footage on the right) further added that her addictive tanning habit does not send a positive message to her children.

The tanning salon owner said that her children stayed with their father in the lobby and did not go into the tanning booth. Security video, if any, of her visit will be a reliable evidence to prove or disprove her claim of innocence.

At the point of writing, there is no indication that her children will be removed. However, it is obvious that the criminal charge is a result of CPS investigation.

Lessons Learnt From This Case

  1. Unsuspecting parents do not know how vulnerable they are when they are ruthlessly scrutinized by CPS.

  2. Unsparing CPS workers often lobby criminal charges laid on parents as this will certainly lend support to their child custody applications.

  3. Denial of wrongdoing or failure to admit responsibility is often considered uncooperative and refusal to take positive step to address child protection concerns. In many cases, CPS workers will remove children if parents plead not guilty to the criminal charges lobbied by CPS workers. In another words, children are used as pawns to force their parents to admit guilt in court. The Bayne's case in British Columbia (2007-2011) is a good example to illustrate the foregoing.

  4. Addiction is a common reason of child removal. In principle, addiction of suntanning is similar with substance abuse. They both incur an addiction of a habit potentially harmful to children. This case may create a new reason to remove children from parents. It is noteworthy to remark that a potential of risk to children, not an act of child abuse, is sufficient to justify action in the child protection industry.

  5. If the spouse refuses to support the position of CPS or to testify against his/her spouse in court, he or she will be considered a risk as well. Some parents are forced to separate or to divorce to prevent their children forcibly placed in foster homes.

  6. Public attitude, as evident in the second video above, is often against parents when there is an allegation of child abuse. Public support often swings in favor of CPS. Most people do not have first hand experience with CPS and are of the opinion that CPS will assist families in need and will not remove children if there is no serious problems. This attitude is exactly what CPS needs to maintain their lucrative business. Service providers in the child protection industry will do everything they can to prevent parents from uncovering the hideous nature of their business.

  7. As repeatedly proven in many other cases, parents are wrong to think that they will not get into trouble with "child protection" agency if they have not abused or neglected their children. Accidents, misunderstanding, malicious complaints, domestic disputes without involving children, different attitude in child upbringing and discipline, or even happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time (for instance the Jamie Sullivan, an Edmonton mother case) may end up having one's children removed.

    "Child protection" workers have the practical power (under the threat of child removal) to walk into one's home without a warrant to conduct whatever investigation as they see fit. Armed with the absolute statutory authority to remove children at will with the assistance of the police, they are the most powerful bureaucrats in the entire government. State-sponsored child removal seriously jeopardizes our safety, freedom and human rights. Allowing government to have such oppressive power is as foolish as giving a loaded gun to someone and providing financial incentive to be shot at.


[This page was added on 3 May 2012, last revised on 3 May 2012.]