Andre Curry, 22, was convicted in November of aggravated domestic battery and aggravated battery, each a felony.
He told police he was playing with his 22-month-old daughter, used blue painter's masking tape to cover her mouth and bind her ankles and wrists, and then took a photograph and uploaded it to his Facebook account with a caption, "This is wut happens wen my baby hits me back," followed by a winking emoticon.
In Cook County, Ill., Court Friday, the day of Curry's sentencing, Judge Lawrence Flood reversed himself and reduced the conviction to a misdemeanor, saying in reviewing the case he found no intent to obstruct the child's breathing by placing the tape over her mouth.
Curry was sentenced to 18 months probation and parenting classes, and received a lecture from the judge, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.
"In your rush to show everyone how funny you were, you used a helpless 22-month-old child, who was completely dependent on you, as a prop. This was not funny. I want you to understand the gravity of your lack of judgment," Flood said.