- Post 08 November 2012
A father who posted a Facebook photo of his 22-month-old daughter bound and gagged with tape was found guilty today of charges of aggravated domestic battery and aggravated battery.
Judge Lawrence Flood had acquitted Andre Curry of unlawful restraint after a trial late last month, but today he found Curry guilty of the two battery counts, 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.
Curry, dressed in a sweater and tie, kept his head down and his hands behind his back as the judge spoke. His lawyers have said it was a stupid prank by the 22-year-old father. His photo became an Internet sensation last December.
He faces up to 7 years in prison when he is sentenced Nov. 29, but he has never before been in trouble and could be placed on probation. He remains free on bond pending sentencing.
Curry told police he was playing with his daughter one night 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. The message was followed with a winking emoticon.
Family members have said that Curry is playful and the photograph was meant to be a joke.
But the image went viral on the Internet, prompting a flood of calls to police and state child-welfare authorities from Curry's friends on Facebook and others who had seen it.