A Texas man has been arrested and charged with threatening a Boston doctor who serves the transgender community



CNN

The FBI on Friday arrested a Texas man who allegedly called and threatened a Boston doctor who cared for transgender people, the US Attorney for the District of Massachusetts said in a news release.

Matthew Jordan Lindner, 38, has been charged with transmitting interstate threats and is scheduled to appear in federal court in Boston “at a later date,” the press release said. He is being held without bail, the New York Times reported.

CNN has reached out to Lindner’s attorney for comment.

According to a criminal complaint, false information circulated on social media in August, alleging that healthcare providers at Boston Children’s Hospital were performing hysterectomies and gender-confirmation surgeries on patients under the age of 18. Hospital staff said that was not true and hysterectomies and gender-affirming surgeries were not performed on patients under the age of 18, according to the complaint.

The hospital, which bills itself as “home of the first transgender health program for children and adolescents in the United States,” said in August it had faced numerous violent threats for providing the type of care, adding, that his staff and doctors were being harassed by phone. email and social media. The threats mounted after the misinformation began to spread, CNN previously reported.

On August 31, the Fenway Institute’s National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center, also in Boston, received a voicemail from an individual who threatened to harm and kill a doctor at the center who specializes in sexual health issues and a “Advocate for gender-affirming care is,” the complaint said.

In the voicemail, the caller threatened that a “group of people were on their way to deal with (the doctor)” and that the doctor had signed his own “arrest warrant,” according to a transcription in the complaint.

Investigators determined that Lindner was the one who made the threatening call and that he has a gun license, according to the report. The document does not specify why he allegedly targeted the health education center and how the threats are related to the online falsehoods.

The health education center “provides educational programs, resources and advice for health organizations with the goal of optimizing the quality and cost-effective health care for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and all sexual and gender minority (LGBTQIA+) people,” according to the site.

The case comes amid heightened violence and threats against LGBTQ communities. The past year has been the deadliest on record for the transgender community, with a record number of anti-transgender laws being enacted across the country.

In November, a 22-year-old gunman entered an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, killing at least five people and injuring more than two dozen others.

In a statement on the Lindner case on Friday, U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Rachael S. Rollins said, “While the doctor is clearly a victim, Mr. Lindner’s threat is rooted in a hatred of the LGBTQIA+ community and its families, friends and loved ones Love and support people who do this. They are victims too.”

“In our schools, churches, hospitals and courthouses there used to be a respite and a safe haven from harm or attack. We have shown that decency and respect to even our fiercest opponents. Unfortunately, those days seem to be over,” Rollins said, adding that the indictments show authorities and prosecutors “will be scouring the country to ensure the safety and welfare of the people of Massachusetts.”

If convicted, Lindner faces up to five years in prison, up to three years under supervision and a fine of up to $250,000.

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