(MCT) — A young South Side father accused of binding his 22-month-old daughter and taping over her mouth, then posting a photo on his Facebook page, was acquitted Tuesday of an unlawful restraint charge, but the Cook County judge said he needed more time to rule on more serious aggravated domestic battery counts.
Attorney Sam Adam Jr., who is representing Andre Curry, 22, argued that his client was a good father who was just being playful and that the child was never in any danger.
"Was this something stupid to do? No question about it," Adam told Judge Lawrence Flood. "But they're asking you to find him guilty of some very serious charges."
The judge held off on ruling on the aggravated domestic battery charges until next week.
According to testimony Tuesday at a brief trial before Flood, Curry was playing with the toddler last December at his home when he grabbed a roll of blue painters tape, bound the little girl's hands and feet together and put two strips of tape over her mouth. Curry then snapped a photo of his daughter with his cellphone and posted it to his Facebook page.
Across the top of the image were the words: "This is wut happens wen my baby hits me back," according to testimony. The message was followed by a winking emoticon.
Within hours, the photo became an Internet sensation. Curry was charged a week later.
Cook County prosecutors argued that Curry obstructed her breathing and committed a battery by placing the tape over the girl's mouth. There was no evidence presented of any injuries to the child.
Curry's family, including the baby's mother, Yasmin Doss, has stood by him since the incident.
Chicago police Detective Charles Hollendoner testified Tuesday the father insisted the whole thing was meant to be a joke.
"He said the child was only taped up for a maximum of 30 seconds," the detective said.
Curry told police he was flooded with hate mail after posting the image and removed the photo from his page the next day.
Curry could face up to seven years in prison if convicted of aggravated domestic battery. He is free on bond and has been ordered to have no contact with his daughter except through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.