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Press Release

Westfield Woman Indicted for Alleged Hoax Bomb Threat Made to Boston Children's Hospital

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

BOSTON – A Westfield woman has been indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with a hoax bomb threat made against Boston Children’s Hospital.

Catherine Leavy, 37, was indicted on one count of making a false bomb threat and one count of intentionally conveying false or misleading information that a bomb was on the way to Boston Children’s Hospital. Leavy was previously arrested and charged by criminal complaint on Sept. 15, 2022 with one count of explosive materials - willfully making a false bomb threat. She will appear in federal court at a later date.

According to the charging documents, in August 2022, agents began monitoring threats made against Boston Children’s Hospital and its employees. Among the wide range of healthcare services it provides, Boston Children’s Hospital is home to the Gender Multispecialty Service (GeMS) program – the first major healthcare program in the United States to focus on gender-diverse and transgender adolescents.

On Aug. 30, 2022, Boston Children’s Hospital received a telephonic bomb threat. As a result of the call, the hospital and surrounding area was placed on lockdown status and a bomb squad was dispatched. An investigation determined no explosive devices were located at the Hospital. Law enforcement obtained subscriber and call detail records and location information for the phone number that called in the bomb threat. According to court documents, the phone number was subscribed in Leavy’s name and cell tower data indicated the phone was nearby Leavy’s residence at the time the bomb threat was made.

During a search of Leavy’s residence on Sept. 15, 2022, the phone allegedly used to make the threat from Leavy’s residence was recovered.

The charge of making a false bomb threat provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of intentionally conveying false or misleading information provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, 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.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; and Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox made the announcement. Valuable assistance was provided by the Westfield Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nadine Pellegrini and Jared C. Dolan, Chief and Deputy Chief of Rollins’ National Security Unit, respectively, are 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 October 7, 2022