Pastor: Dad 'regrets' binding tot with duct tape

January 10, 2012 4:47:40 AM PST
A Chicagoan accused of binding his young daughter with duct tape and posting a picture of it on Facebook appeared in court Monday.

Andre Curry was officially indicted Monday on felony aggravated domestic battery.

The photo of the toddler gained national attention when it appeared on websites like ABC 7 Chicago is blurring the girl's face so she cannot be recognized.

Pastor Torrey Barrett, who is counseling Curry in jail, said the 21-year-old is fighting to get his daughter back.

"Andre, a young boy, could use some counseling, and that's what we think happened, he made a mistake, used poor judgment and did something that he truly regrets," Pastor Barrett said.

Prosecutors say Curry used blue duct tape to bind his 22-month-old daughter's hands and feet, and to cover her mouth. He then took a picture with his cell phone and posted it to facebook with the caption, "this is what happens when my baby hits me back," prosecutors say.

"He thought it was a joke and it's sad that we have a population in our society that think things like that are a joke. But now he understands how people feel and why they feel the way that they do," Pastor Barrett said. "He also wants to talk to other people his age and let them know that a stupid mistake could wind you up in trouble, especially when you expose that mistake on facebook, twitter and things like that."

Curry's attorney, Zachary Hamilton, also calls the incident a joke. He said his client has no criminal record and is a working, loving single father who is trying to provide for his daughter.

Curry is not allowed any contact with his daughter, which Pastor Barrett said is hard for Curry, who spent the holidays in jail because his family could not raise the $10,000 needed to bail him out.

"He was hurt, he was hurt, he was sad he was hurt, crying, and he wants to get out so he can see his daughter," Pastor Barrett said.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services investigation and said they had no previous contact with the family, and that the child was not hurt. The court ordered Curry not to have contact with his daughter and to stay off the internet. In the meantime- a group called "Citizens Concerned for Andre Curry" has formed a petition to try and appeal to the state.

"We plan to turn in 1,000 signatures on his court date on the 26th to make sure they know he has a community of believers that are behind him that believe this young man made a mistake and that the best thing you can do is let him out and let him tell others not to make the same mistake he made," Pastor Barrett said.

Curry's attorney has filed a motion to try and reduce bond. Curry is back in court on January 26.