Father who bound daughter, then posted it on Facebook, guilty of battery
BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN Criminal Courts Reporter email@example.com November 8, 2012 11:26AM
Andre Curry leaves Criminal Court at 26th & California following verdict, Thursday, November 8, 2012. I John H. White~Sun-Times
Updated: December 10, 2012 6:22AM
Andre Curry was laughing when he playfully placed painter’s tape across his toddler’s mouth and circled the blue adhesive around her ankles and wrists, his sister said.
The baby, whose muzzled image ended up on Facebook, was giggling too.
But the joke was lost on Cook County Judge Lawrence Flood who
convicted Curry Thursday of aggravated domestic battery and aggravated
battery for the stunt.
Flood admonished Curry for binding his then 22-month-old daughter like a “toy or prop” in an attempt to amuse the girl’s mother and his Facebook friends.
“This is wut happens wen my baby hits me back. ; ),” Curry allegedly wrote in the captioned photo of the child he posted.
Although the girl did not sustain any injuries from the Dec. 13 incident, Curry intentionally placed the tape on the child’s mouth, which impedes breathing and, therefore, falls under the legal definition of strangulation, Flood said.
Curry, 22, who was described by the child’s mother as a good father, quietly stood in court in a white sweater and khakis as the judge rendered his verdict.
He refused comment as he left the Leighton Criminal Court Building.
“He’s devastated,” Curry’s attorney, Sam Adam Jr., said following Thursday’s brief hearing.
Adam said his client might have made a “stupid mistake” but shouldn’t have been charged with a crime.
The defense attorney said he was “disappointed” by the ruling because the child wasn’t harmed, adding that he was certain “political pressure” moved State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez to initially slap Curry with felonies because of the photo’s exposure on Facebook and ensuing publicity.
“This [statute] is for people who beat their wives. This is for people who beat their kid, and that’s not this case,” he said.
“Of course this was overcharged, and the reason is because this is political. . . . [Prosecutors are] picking on people who can’t defend themselves under most circumstances so they can get re-elected.”
All of the prosecution’s witnesses, including a detective, described the girl as “smiling” and playing hours after she was taped for less than a minute at her aunt’s South Side apartment, Adam said, recalling last week’s bench trial.
Flood acquitted Curry of unlawful restraint that day but said he wanted to study the law further before making a decision on the more serious battery charges.
Curry faces up to three to seven years in prison but could receive as little as probation.
The restaurant worker has since moved to Minnesota and is allowed supervised visits with his daughter, who Adam said will eventually blame herself if Curry cannot hold a job due to his conviction.
“We have to look at the equity of the situation,” Adam said, vowing to appeal.
“How is he now supposed to provide for the child? He’s gonna be a convicted felon. You know what it’s like in this country to be a black man with a felony on your background? Who’s gonna hire him?”
When Curry was arrested last year, court personnel described him as a “good kid” and his then-lawyer said Curry had previously moved to Minnesota to live with his father to escape the gang activity that infiltrated his South Side neighborhood.