A Texas man has been federally charged after he allegedly harassed and issued death threats against a Boston doctor who treats members of the transgender community, including trans youth.
Matthew Jordan Lindner, 38, of Comfort, Texas, was arrested on Friday and charged with one count of transmitting interstate threats, according to the U.S. District Attorney’s Office. Lindner appeared in the Western District of Texas on Friday afternoon and will appear in federal court in Boston at a later date.
Prosecutors say that in August, inaccurate information about procedures at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) for the transgender community leaked online. According to the charging documents, on August 31, Lindner called the Boston-based National Center for LGBTQIA+ Health Education and left a threatening voicemail targeting one of the center’s affiliated physicians.
According to its website, the National Center for LGBTQIA+ Health Education provides “educational programs, resources, and consultation to health care organizations with the goal of optimizing quality, cost-effective health care for lesbians. , gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and all people of sexual and gender minorities (LGBTQIA+). The education center is part of Fenway Health and the Fenway Institute, which are among the largest health centers in the world focused on LGBTQIA+ communities.
Investigators say the targeted doctor treats children and gender nonconforming transgender patients.
In Linder’s expletive-filled voicemail, officials say he allegedly threatened, “You’re all going to burn. There’s a bunch of people about to run [the doctor]. You signed your own mandate, [doctor].”
Prosecutors also say Linder accused the doctor of “castrating our children” and said, “You’ve woken up enough people. And upset enough of us. And you signed your own ticket.
If convicted, Lindner faces up to five years in prison, up to three years of probation and a fine of up to $250,000.
“Death threats instill fear and terror in their target audiences,” U.S. Attorney Rachael S. Rollins said in a press release. “The conduct alleged here is not protected by free speech. The words used here do not mean that someone is simply expressing displeasure or engaging in heated debate. Mr. Lindner’s alleged conduct — a death threat — is based on lies and amounts to workplace violence. The victim, a physician caring for gender nonconforming and transgender patients, should be able to engage in this meaningful and necessary work without fear of physical injury or death.
In August, Rollins announced the creation of the “End Hate Now” hotline (1-83-END-H8-NOW or 1-833-634-8669) to report hate-motivated incidents or potential criminal activity. Callers can report hate incidents, hate crimes, or individuals suspected of supporting acts of hate-motivated violent extremism. Callers can remain anonymous.
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