By Dorothy Tucker

CHICAGO (CBS) – The Chicago father who put tape on his daughter’s mouth, wrists and legs and posted a photo on Facebook says he’s a caring parent who has learned his lesson.

Andre Curry, 21, is out on bail and spoke to CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker about the pain of being away from his child.

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“I had to leave her,” Curry tells Tucker.

Feb. 23 was the first time Curry had seen his child since he was arrested last year for aggravated domestic battery and accused of abusing her by taping her eyes and mouth and posting the picture to his Facebook page. The widely viewed photo and its caption – “This is wut happens wen my baby hits me back” – inspired outrage and prompted the criminal charges.

“I wasn’t thinking about it at the time. I wish I would have thought about it,” Curry says.

For legal reasons, Curry says he can’t talk about the details of the incident, but he argues he was just playing with his 1-year-old daughter.

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“I was just trying to keep my daughter’s laughs coming. I was so in daddy mode just to please her. I didn’t think about how wrong it would look from other peoples’ perspective,” he says. “But now when I look back, that does look like she was hurt.”

Curry says he’s the primary caretaker for his daughter because of the hours he works as a maintenance worker.

He was initially taken into custody Dec. 20 and held on $100,000 bond. After pleas from church members, he was released $30,000 bail, but by then he’d been away 39 days.

A judge next week is expected to make a decision about whether his visitation rights will be restored.

“I learned to think about what I’m doing before I do it. I learned to think about the consequences. I learned to think about my daughter because whatever I do that affects me affects her as well,” Curry says.

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Curry says the child’s mother fully supports him and would like to see him reunited with his daughter. CBS 2 was not able to get in touch with the girl’s mother.

Dorothy Tucker