An Alexandria day-care provider lost an appeal Tuesday to have her conviction for slapping a 4-year-old in the face overturned, authorities said.

Some parents who had kept their children with Preeta Nasir, who had never had another allegation of abuse, had rallied to support her. Her in-home center was shut down after 22 years. 

A Fairfax County Circuit Court judge gave Nasir a 10-day suspended jail sentence on condition of good behavior for a year.  She had faced a maximum of 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

 “In the grand scheme of things, it was not a harsh punishment,” said her attorney, Joseph King. But Virginia law prohibits someone with such a conviction from operating or working as a childcare provider, King said.

Prosecutor Ryan Fitzgerald confirmed the ruling but declined further comment.

 In December, Nasir was found guilty of assault and battery in Fairfax Juvenile Court for hitting a child hard enough to leave a bruise that lasted days. Since jury trials are not available in juvenile court, all of its rulings can be appealed to the Circuit Court.

 The conviction upset some parents who had children at Nasir's day-care because they said Nasir was acting to protect another child. Two days after Nasir slapped the child, Fairfax Child Protective Services began a probe and, eventually, ruled that Nasir had abused the boy.