CHICAGO — An attorney vowed an appeal after a Cook County judge on Thursday convicted a father of felony battery charges for binding and gagging his young daughter with tape and then posting a photo on Facebook, causing a sensation on the Internet.
Attorney Sam Adam Jr. accused prosecutors of overcharging the case because of the publicity and said the domestic battery law wasn’t intended to punish a loving parent who made a mistake but didn’t injure his child.
“This (law) is for people who beat their wives. This is for people who beat their kids,” said Adam, who represented Andre Curry, the father. “That is not this case.”
But Judge Lawrence Flood found Curry guilty of charges of aggravated domestic battery and aggravated battery, saying in a brief ruling that by placing tape over the girl’s mouth, he had obstructed her breathing for his own enjoyment.
“To use a child ... as a toy or a prop in an odd attempt at humor is conduct of an insulting or provoking nature,” Flood said.
The judge had acquitted Curry of a charge of unlawful restraint after a brief bench trial late last month.
Curry kept his head down as the judge spoke. His lawyers have said it was a stupid prank by the 22-year-old father.
He faces up to seven years in prison, but has never before been in trouble and could be placed on probation. He remains free on bond pending the sentencing Nov. 29.
Curry told police he was playing with his then-22-month-old daughter last December at their South Side home and used blue painter’s tape to bind her ankles and wrists and cover her mouth. He then snapped a photo and uploaded it on his Facebook page. Across the top of the photo were the words: “This is wut happens wen my baby hits me back,” according to prosecutors and police reports.