District of Massachusetts | Texas man accused of threatening a doctor affiliated with the National Center for LGBTQIA+ Health Education

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

Matthew Jordan Lindner, 38, of Comfort, Texas, was charged with one count of interstate transmission of 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 target audiences. The conduct alleged here is not protected by free speech. The words used here do not equate to someone simply expressing her displeasure or engaging in a heated debate. Mr. Lindner’s alleged conduct, a death threat, is based on falsehoods and amounts to an act of violence in the workplace. The victim, a physician who cares for transgender and gender non-conforming patients, must be able to engage in this meaningful and necessary work without fear of physical harm or death. And while the Doctor is clearly a victim, Mr. Lindner’s threat is rooted in hatred of the LGBTQIA+ community and the families, friends, and people who love and support them. They are victims too,” said US Attorney Rachael S. Rollins. “There used to be a respite and a 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 seem to be long gone. The Department of Justice is committed to protecting the rights of the transgender and gender non-conforming community, which includes healthcare providers who provide care and support. This office will vigorously investigate and prosecute people who have committed hate crimes, including threats. Today’s charges show that we will travel the country to ensure the safety and well-being of the people of Massachusetts. Hate has no place here.”

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“Today, the FBI arrested Matthew Lindner for allegedly harassing and threatening to kill a female physician at Fenway Institute solely because she was caring for gender non-conforming children. While everyone has the right to express their opinion, they do not have the right to use or threaten violence against people who do not share their 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. Unfortunately, this case is one of many others illustrating FBI Boston’s commitment to thwarting potential hate and bias-motivated violent incidents and holding the people behind them accountable.”

According to charging documents, in August 2022, inaccurate information about procedures at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) for the transgender community was disseminated online. It is alleged that on August 31, 2022, Lindner called the Boston-based National Center for LGBTQIA+ Health Education and left a threatening voicemail addressed to one of the Center’s affiliated physicians. In that voicemail, Lindner allegedly said, “Sick motherfuckers, you’re all going to burn. There’s a bunch of people on the way to drive [victim]. You signed your own order, [victim]. Castrate our children. You’ve woken up enough people. And annoying enough of us. And you signed your own ticket. Sleep tight, you fucking bastard.”

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), to report incidents based on hate or possible criminal activity. Massachusetts residents and visitors are encouraged to call the hotline to report concerning or concerning hate incidents, possible hate crimes, or concerns regarding individuals believed to be espousing the hateful views or actions of which we are told. we find out all too often in the aftermath 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.

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The charge of transmitting interstate threats carries 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 on the US Sentencing Guidelines and the statutes governing sentencing in a criminal case.

United States Attorney Rollins and the FBI SAC Bonavolonta made the announcement today. Assistant US Attorney Brian A. Fogerty of Rollins’ Civil Rights and Human Trafficking 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.