A Texas man threatened a Boston doctor who treats gender nonconforming children, the US says
A Texas man was arrested Friday on federal charges that he left a voicemail message threatening to kill a Boston doctor who cares for gender-nonconforming children, authorities said.
The man, Matthew Jordan Lindner, 38, of Comfort, Texas, was charged with one count of making interstate threats, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Massachusetts. He is being held without bail pending a hearing next week. If convicted, he could face up to five years in prison and three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.
Attempts to reach the lawyer Mr. Lindner on Friday night were unsuccessful.
According to federal prosecutors, false information began circulating online in August that doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital were providing hysterectomies and gender-affirmation surgeries to patients under 18. The hospital does not perform these procedures on minors, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors state that on August 31, Mr. Lindner called the Boston-based National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center and left a threatening voicemail with one of the center’s doctors.
Constantly using profanity, Mr. Lindner said in the message, “You’re all going to get burned,” according to prosecutors, adding that “a group of people are on their way to deal with” the doctor. “You signed your own order,” Mr. Lindner allegedly said, again citing the doctor’s name. “The castration of our children. You’ve woken up enough people. And a lot of us upset. You signed your ticket yourself.”
Mr. Lindner also called two phone numbers associated with the university in Rhode Island where the doctor is a professor and called a medical office where the doctor previously worked, prosecutors said in the criminal complaint.
The National Center for LGBTQIA+ Health Education, part of the Fenway Institute, provides educational programs and health care for the queer and transgender communities. The center did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.
The doctor who received the threat has not been publicly named. Prosecutors said she is an advocate of gender-affirming care and the use of puberty hormones and blockers.
Prosecutors said the phone recordings were used to identify Mr. Lindner. They also said they matched the voice in the call that threatened the doctor with the one in the videos that Mr. Lindner previously posted on Facebook.
Rachael S. Rollins, the U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, said in a statement that she is committed to “vigorously” investigating and prosecuting people who threaten members of the LGBTQ community, including health care workers.
“Death threats instill fear and terror in the target audience,” Ms Rollins said. “Mr. Lindner’s alleged behavior – the death threat – is based on lies and constitutes an act of workplace violence.”
Joseph R. Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the Boston division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said in a statement that the doctor was targeted because she cared for gender-nonconforming children.
“No one,” he said, “should live in fear of violence because of who they are, what they do, where they’re from, or what they believe.”
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