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Press Release

Texas Man Charged with Threatening Doctor Affiliated with the National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – A Texas man was arrested and charged today in connection with threatening a Boston doctor providing care to members of the transgender community.

Matthew Jordan Lindner, 38, of Comfort, Texas, was charged with one count of transmitting interstate threats. Lindner was arrested this morning and will make an initial appearance in the Western District of Texas this afternoon. He will appear in federal court in Boston at a later date.

“Death threats instill fear and terror in their targeted audiences. The conduct alleged here is not protected free speech. The words used here do not amount to someone simply expressing their discontent or engaging in a heated debate. Mr. Lindner’s alleged conduct – a death threat – is based on falsehoods and amounts to an act of workplace violence. The victim, a Doctor caring for gender nonconforming and transgendered patients, should be able to engage in this meaningful and necessary work without fear of physical harm or death. And although the Doctor is clearly a victim, Mr. Lindner’s threat is rooted in a hatred of the LGBTQIA+ community and the families, friends and people that love and support them. They are victims too,” said United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins. “There used to be a respite and safe haven from harm or attack in our schools, churches, hospitals and courthouses.  We used to extend that decency and respect to even our fiercest adversaries.  Sadly, those days appear to be gone. The Department of Justice has pledged to protect the rights of the gender nonconforming and transgendered community, which includes the health care providers who render care and support. This office will vigorously investigate and prosecute individuals who engaged in hate crimes, including threats. Today’s charges show that we will scour the country to ensure the safety and wellbeing of people in Massachusetts. Hate has no place here.”

“Today, the FBI arrested Matthew Lindner for allegedly harassing and threatening to kill a physician at the Fenway Institute solely because she was caring for gender nonconforming children. While everyone has a right to express their opinion, they don’t have a right to use or threaten violence against individuals who do not share their same set of beliefs,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division. “No one should have to live in fear of violence because of who they are, what kind of work they do, where they are from, or what they believe. This case is unfortunately one of many others that illustrates FBI Boston’s commitment to thwarting potential violent incidents motivated by hate and bias and holding the individuals behind them accountable.”

According to the charging documents, in August 2022, inaccurate information spread online regarding procedures at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) for the transgender community. It is alleged that on Aug. 31, 2022, Lindner called the Boston-based National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center and left a threatening voicemail targeting one of the Center’s affiliated doctors. In that voicemail, Lindner allegedly said: “You sick motherf*****s, you’re all gonna burn. There’s a group of people on their way to handle [victim]. You signed your own warrant, [victim]. Castrating our children. You’ve woken up enough people. And upset enough of us. And you signed your own ticket. Sleep well, you f******, c***.”

In August 2022, U.S. Attorney Rollins announced the creation of the “End Hate Now” hotline - 1-83-END-H8-NOW (1-833-634-8669) - for reporting hate-based incidents or potential criminal activity. Massachusetts residents and visitors are encouraged to call the hotline to report concerning or troubling incidents of hate, potential hate crimes, or concerns regarding individuals believed to be espousing the hate-filled views or actions we learn of far too often in the wake of mass shootings and/or acts of hate-based violent extremism. Callers are encouraged to leave their contact information but may remain anonymous. At this time, the hotline is available in English, Spanish, Cantonese and French.

The charge of transmitting interstate threats provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

U.S. Attorney Rollins and FBI SAC Bonavolonta made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian A. Fogerty of Rollins’ Human Trafficking & Civil Rights Unit is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated December 2, 2022

Topics
Civil Rights