May 2, 2012 at 8:51 PM ET
A technology consultant who stripped naked at Portland International Airport last month to protest security screening has decided to fight the misdemeanor indecent exposure charge levied against him and go to trial.
In a hearing on Wednesday, John E. Brennan, 49, could have just entered a Multnomah County Circuit Court’s community program, which would have meant the misdemeanor charge could be treated like a citation. To do that, he would have to admit guilt, and would likely be required to perform community service and write an apology letter, according to Oregonlive.com, the website of the Oregonian newspaper.
Instead, his attorney told a judge that Brennan wanted to go to trial, the report said, because an apology wasn’t appropriate because Brennan hadn't done anything wrong.
Brennan, at the airport on April 17, was scheduled to board an Alaska Airlines flight to San Jose, Calif., on a business trip. He reportedly grew frustrated after a security wand detected trace amounts of an explosive component on his clothing and he was ordered to do further screening. He stripped naked to show he didn't have a bomb, he said at the time.
News of Brennan's disrobing made national headlines.
"I believe I am within my rights as an Oregonian to use this form of protest, this form of free speech really, and to assist the TSA in their screening process," Brennan told NBC station KGW in Portland outside the courtroom on Wednesday.
Brennan said he is upset with the government taking away the rights of citizens and that stripping was his way of fighting back.
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