An individual from Texas was arrested on federal charges on Friday for allegedly threatening a Boston doctor who treats transgender patients.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office has filed a single count of transmitting interstate threats against the suspect, a man named Matthew Jordan Lindner, 38, from Humble, Texas. On Friday, he appeared in a Texas courtroom for the first time; he will next appear in federal court in Boston.
FBI Boston Division Special Agent in Charge Joseph R. Bonavolonta issued a statement alleging that Lindner harassed and threatened to kill a female physician at the National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center in Boston because of the doctor’s work with children who do not conform to the binary gender binary.
Accusations made in the charging documents state that on August 31st, Lindner called the National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center to report false information circulating online about services offered at Boston Children’s Hospital. The Justice Department claims Lindner threatened one of the center’s affiliated doctors in a threatening voicemail.
Federal prosecutors claim Lindner made statements including, “a group of people are on the way to handle” the unnamed victim, “the victim will burn,” and “the victim and others in their field have upset enough of us and signed (their) own ticket.” The message also used a slur against the victim’s gender and implied that they were “castrating” their children.
The Maximum Sentence For Linder’s Charge Is Five Years In Prison
Bonavolonta argued that while everyone has the right to their own opinion, that right does not extend to the use of or threat of violence against those who do not share the same set of beliefs.
“No one, regardless of who they are, what they do, where they come from, or what they believe, should ever have to live in fear of physical assault. Tragically, this case is just one of many that show how the FBI in Boston is working to prevent hate- and bias-motivated violence and bring those responsible to justice.”
There have been prior instances of threats being made because of false information about Boston Children’s Hospital. Catherine Leavy, of Westfield, Massachusetts, was arrested in September on charges that she made a hoax bomb threat against the same hospital that Lindner is suspected of calling about the day before Lindner’s arrest was made (Aug. 30).
U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Rachael Rollins had previously reported receiving roughly a dozen such threats directed at Boston Children’s Hospital. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association were among the three major medical organizations that asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to look into and prosecute similar threats in October.
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On November 18th, dozens of Democrats in the House of Representatives signed a letter to Garland asking the Department of Justice to address anti-transgender threats against medical professionals.
Upon Linder’s arrest on Friday, Rollins issued a statement promising to “protect the rights of the gender nonconforming and transgender community, which includes the health care providers who render care and support.”
Texas Man Accused Of Threatening Boston Doctor Who Provides Transgender Care
On Friday, federal prosecutors announced that they had arrested a man in Texas on charges of making death threats against a doctor in Boston who treats transgender patients.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts reports that on August 31, threats were made against a doctor affiliated with a Boston healthcare training center due to “inaccurate information being spread online” about Boston Children’s Hospital and transgender care.
Prosecutors say 38-year-old Comfort resident Matthew Jordan Lindner called the National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center and left a voicemail warning, “You’re all going to burn.”
Moreover, he allegedly stated, “a group of people are on the way to treat the doctor” and “you signed your own order.” Officials were unable to determine the doctor’s identity.
It is alleged that Lindner made a threat across state lines on one occasion. According to the US prosecutor’s office, he was apprehended in Texas on Friday.
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US Attorney Rachael Rollins said in a statement that Mr. Lindner’s alleged behavior, a death threat based on untruths, amounted to an act of workplace violence motivated by hatred.
A woman who answered the phone at a number associated with him online said, “My son is a good person,” but she wouldn’t give her name or provide any additional information when pressed.
Several other threats were made against Boston Children’s Hospital in August, also related to the hospital’s alleged practice of performing gender-affirming surgeries on children. A woman from central Massachusetts was arrested in October on charges that she made a bomb threat to a local hospital on August 30.
An indictment states that 37-year-old Westfield resident Catherine Leavy threatened others by saying, “you better evacuate everyone you morons,” after claiming a bomb was on its way. Her plea was “not guilty.”
The Gender Multispecialty Service at Children’s Hospital in Boston treats transgender and gender-variant adolescents. According to the website, it was the first major program in the country to do this when it debuted in 2007. Those under the age of 18 are not eligible for genital surgical procedures.
Influencers on the far right who are opposed to transgender people and have millions of followers led a campaign of harassment against several children’s hospitals, including Boston Children’s.
A campaign of false allegations of pedophilia or “grooming” against Boston Children’s Hospital has been ongoing, according to court documents filed by the FBI, and it has resulted in death threats and threats of mass casualties.