A man who stripped down naked at Portland International Airport was found not guilty by a Multnomah County judge Wednesday.
John Brennan took off his clothes while going through airport security in April.
The courtroom was packed full of Brennan's friends and supporters, who burst into applause after the judge found him not guilty of an indecent exposure charge.
Brennan took the stand and testified in his own defense during his trial Wednesday afternoon.
"It says that in some way or another, the court system works," Brennan told reporters outside the courthouse following his acquittal. "Nudity is protected speech in Oregon."
Brennan told officers he got naked to protest TSA screeners, who he felt had been harassing him. He feels he did nothing wrong, and was simply exercising his constitutional right to free expression, he said in a statement.
"I think it's evident that a man taking off his clothes who does not appear to be drunk or insane is making a form of political speech by taking off his clothes," said Brennan.
During the incident, investigators said Brennan was asked numerous times to put his clothes back on, but he refused. His actions caused two screening lanes to be closed down, investigators said. Several children were nearby, they added.
While the state tried to prove that Brennan violated the law by getting naked in public, the judge ultimately sided with Brennan. The judge ruled that the state could not punish Brennan for an act of speech.
Brennan stated in an email sent to FOX 12 in early May that chose to get arrested at the airport as a way of protesting "this erosion of our civil liberties." He hoped that his actions would begin a dialogue about "this ongoing violation of our civil rights," the email stated.
Brennan was originally charged with indecent exposure and disorderly conduct, but the disorderly conduct charge was dropped.
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