The Huffington Post David Moye First Posted: 12/06/12 EST Updated: 12/06/12 EST
To some people, Andrew Pointon might seem to be a knight in shining armor.
Except he doesn't wear any armor or, preferably, any clothes at all.
Pointon, 47, is a naturist in New Zealand who was charged with indecent exposure in August, 2011, after a woman complained that he jogged while wearing nothing but sneakers at a park, according to the Bay Of Plenty Times.
Although he was found guilty last December, he appealed the verdict and Justice Paul Heath agreed with him last Friday, by comparing Pointon's jog -- which was in a forested area away from crowds -- to a hypothetical scenario of two gang members walking together in the same area.
"It would not be surprising for a person in the position of the complainant to be concerned and discomforted by their presence, and even to feel threatened," he said, according to Stuff.co.nz. "However, on any view, their behavior would not be regarded as offensive behavior. Should the sight of a naked man, in the circumstances in which the complainant found herself, be treated any differently? I think not."
Critics of the ruling like Bob McCoskrie, spokesman for a conservative group called Family First, said the judge's ruling showed double standards.
"Is it OK for someone to streak through his courtroom? He'd be the first one to put them in the cells," McCoskrie told Stuff.co.nz.
Pointon's lawyer, Michael Bott, doesn't think the ruling will inspire New Zealand nudists to run around in public.
"It's not a nudists' charter or anything like that, far from it," he told Newstalkzb.co.nz. "What was said was in this particular case, that here was a man who went out of his way as it were, to exercise his freedom of expression in a way which took into account the rights and needs of others."
Pointon said the ruling helps support his belief that nudity is not about exhibitionism.
"There's no connotations to it there's nothing sexual about it there's nothing perverted about it and that's the way just being naked is, just feeling good in your own body," he told SunLive.co.nz.
Pointon plans to take advantage of the ruling with a mass nude bike ride scheduled for March.GALLERY: THINGS YOU CAN'T DO NAKED