(CBS/AP) CHICAGO - A Chicago man was convicted Thursday of battery charges after posting a picture of his 22-month-old daughter bound with tape on Facebook with a caption that read, "This is wut happens wen my baby hits me back."
A judge found 22-year-old Andre Curry guilty following a bench trial of aggravated domestic battery and aggravated battery. Curry now faces a sentence ranging from probation to 7 years in prison.
The Facebook photo showed the girl's wrists, ankles and mouth bound with tape. The girl's mother and Curry's lawyer said the father was merely having fun with the child, but the judge disagreed and criticized Curry for obstructing his child's 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," Cook County Circuit Judge Lawrence Flood said.
Curry reportedly said he took the photo without thinking when he and his daughter were playing on Dec. 13. His attorney, Sam Adam Jr., said the child was never in danger.
Curry's sister, Annastasia Curry, testified that she was cooking dinner and could hear Curry and her niece laughing in the living room. When she went out to check on them, she said she saw the child covered with tape.
Adam said his client may have made a "stupid mistake" but shouldn't have been charged under a law that is intended for people who beat their wives and children. The attorney noted that all the prosecution's witnesses, including a detective, described the girl as smiling and playing just hours after she was taped for less than a minute. He vowed to appeal.
"We have to look at the equity of the situation," Adam said. "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?"