‘Indecent exposure is crime’

THE Rape Crisis Network has warned 96FM presenter Neil Prendeville’s lewd behaviour aboard a London-Cork flight must be “rightly recognised” as “sexually harmful behaviour and as a crime”.

It emerged yesterday that Aer Lingus is in the process of making a formal complaint to gardaí following an incident in which Mr Prendeville was seen to expose himself as the jet taxied for take-off last month.

The highly popular radio star was seated in the front row of the aircraft facing two air hostesses. He was flanked by a female passenger to his right in a window seat and a male passenger to his left in an aisle seat.

Last night, the Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) said they welcomed the fact that Aer Lingus was compiling a complaint and had referred the alleged criminal behaviour to the gardaí.

“Indecent exposure is rightly recognised as sexually harmful behaviour and as a crime. Imposed on bystanders, it can be both humiliating and intimidating. It is important the harmful effects are fully recognised and appreciated,” said RCNI director Fiona Neary.

“Describing such behaviours as an ‘embarrassing incident’ serves to minimise the harm inflicted and give a green light to those with sexually harmful behaviours. Every woman has the right to go about her work environment and her daily life without having unwanted sexual behaviour put upon her.

“If media coverage is accurate, the type of behaviour Mr Prendeville engaged in, is regarded as serious enough to constitute a crime under our own law and the law of England and Wales. We would welcome information from Aer Lingus as to its policy on how they address such situations in the interest of employee and passenger safety and upholding the law.”

Teenagers, she said, were unfortunately regularly subjected to this behaviour as they were “too embarrassed” to follow it up.

More in this section