Judge reverses conviction of dad accused of binding girl with tape

January 5, 2013 7:40:49 AM PST
A Cook County judge has reversed the conviction of a Chicago man convicted of taping up his young daughter and posting a picture of it on a social networking website.

It is truly a reversal of fortune for Andre Curry.

He's the Chicago father who faced up to seven years in prison after a Cook County court judge found him guilty of two felony battery charges for tying up his toddler daughter with tape and posting the image on the internet.

Friday, the same judge changed his mind, reduced the conviction and sentenced the young father to probation.

A relieved Curry left court Friday no longer a felon after a judge reversed himself and reduced the dad's conviction to a misdemeanor for binding his young daughter with tape and posting it on the internet.

"From the bottom of my heart, I'm very sorry for all of the pain that i put everybody through," Curry said.

The lighter sentence comes after Curry's attorney convinced the court to drop aggravated domestic battery and aggravated battery charges, both felonies.

"Judge Flood did that today," said Sam Adam Jr., Curry's attorney. "He stood up and he showed that in Cook County, there can be justice."

The 22-year old father was found guilty in November - after the court ruled that by placing tape over the girl's mouth, he obstructed her breathing for his own enjoyment. He faced up to seven years in prison.

"He is not a monster," said Curry's mother, Brandi Phillips. "He's not a child abuser and his intent was never to hurt her."

Instead Judge Lawrence Flood changed the conviction to misdemeanor domestic battery - saying after review, he found no evidence young father was trying to strangle his daughter.

Curry was sentenced to 18 months of probation and ordered to take parenting classes.

"Now Andre can go out to other young men who maybe making to same type of mistake," said Pastor Torrey Barrett, Community Family Life Center.

Despite the reversal, Judge Flood still scolded Curry.

"In your rush to show everyone how funny you were, you used a helpless 22-month-old child as a prop. This was not funny," Flood told Curry.

"I think for my actions I deserved to be put through this," Curry said. "It was actually a life learning experience for myself. I'm not mad. I'm not angry at all."

Curry was charged in December 2011 after he posted a picture of his daughter bound with painters tape on his Facebook page as a joke.

He spent 39 days in jail prior to posting bail.

Curry says fallout from the case cost him his job among other things.

Still, he hopes others will not make the same mistake.

"Think before you do. That's what i learned. Think before you do," he said.

Curry's already started working again, this time as a counselor at an Englewood outreach center. He's hoping to use his experience with the criminal justice system to help other young men like himself.

A judge says Curry must also under periodic drug testing.