Prosecutors: Man Who Duct Taped Daughter Was Playing
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UPDATED 12/21/11 2:44 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Prosecutors said Wednesday that an Englewood neighborhood man was playing with his 1-year-old daughter when he bound her in duct tape and took a picture of it on Facebook.
Andre Curry, 21, is charged with aggravated domestic battery. His bond was set at $100,000 Wednesday.
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At the bond hearing, an assistant Cook County State’s Attorney said on Dec. 15, the little girl was playing with a roll of blue painter’s tape when Curry taped her feet and hands, and put tape over her mouth.
Curry used a cell phone to take the picture and removed the duct tape after posting.
The photo, published by the Web site “The Smoking Gun,” shows a young girl with blue tape over her mouth and her wrists and ankles bound together with duct tape.
The accompanying caption suggested that the girl had been taped up as a disciplinary measure. The deliberately misspelled sentence read, “This is wut happens wen my baby hits me back. ; ).”
After Wednesday’s bond hearing, Curry’s public defender said the incident has been blown out of proportion and that Curry was just joking around when he took the picture and posted it on Facebook.
There was no mention at the bond hearing of Curry hitting the girl. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has since placed the girl in the custody of her mother.
CBS Chicago is not showing the photo, out of respect for the victim.
But screen shots of the Facebook page have circulated around the Internet. One of the man’s own Facebook friends apparently wrote, “U goin to jail” as a comment.
Several other Facebook friends also posted comments about the nature of the photo. In one, a woman calls the man a “nasty dirty child abuser.” In another, a woman claims she called DCFS and pointed them in the direction of his profile.
But the Smoking Gun reported that one of the man’s Facebook friends said she believed he was “just playing around” and was not intending to abuse the little girl. The woman told the online publication that the picture was over the top, but that Curry was only being “playful,” and different people have different ways to play with their children.
It’s unclear whether the Facebook user removed the photo on his own or whether a user reported it as abuse. A post on Facebook about website security says content that is “hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence” is not allowed on the site.
Curry surrendered to police on Dec. 20, the prosecutor said. He has no criminal background, and had been living with his sister.
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services says it is monitoring the situation, and could return the girl to her father within three weeks, as he is raising her.