A Texas man was arrested on Friday on a federal charge that he left a voice mail message threatening to kill a Boston doctor who provides care to gender nonconforming children, the authorities said.
The man, Matthew Jordan Lindner, 38, of Comfort, Texas, was charged with one count of transmitting interstate threats, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts. He is being held without bail pending a court hearing next week. If convicted, he could face up to five years in prison and three years of supervised released and a fine of up to $250,000.
Efforts to reach a lawyer for Mr. Lindner late Friday were unsuccessful.
According to federal prosecutors, false information began to spread online in August that doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital were providing hysterectomies and gender affirmation surgery to patients under the age of 18. The hospital does not perform those procedures on minors, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors allege that on Aug. 31, Mr. Lindner called the Boston-based National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center and left the threatening voice mail for one of the center’s doctors.
Repeatedly using profanity, Mr. Lindner said in the message, “you’re all gonna burn,” according to prosecutors, adding that there was “a group of people on their way to handle” the doctor. “You signed your own warrant,” Mr. Lindner allegedly said, again naming the doctor. “Castrating our children. You’ve woken up enough people. And upset enough of us. And you signed your own ticket.”
Mr. Lindner also called two phone numbers associated with a Rhode Island university where the doctor is a faculty member and called a medical practice where the doctor had previously worked, prosecutors said in the criminal complaint.
The National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center, which is part of the Fenway Institute, provides educational programs and health care for the queer and transgender communities. The center did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.
The doctor who received the threat was not publicly named. Prosecutors said she is an advocate for gender-affirming care and the use of puberty hormones and blockers.
Prosecutors said that phone records had been used to identify Mr. Lindner. They also said that they had matched the voice on the call that threatened the doctor with that on videos that Mr. Lindner had previously posted on Facebook.
Rachael S. Rollins, the U.S. attorney in Massachusetts, said in a statement that she was committed to “vigorously” investigating and prosecuting people who threaten members of the L.G.B.T.Q. community, including health care professionals.
“Death threats instill fear and terror in their targeted audiences,” Ms. Rollins said. “Mr. Lindner’s alleged conduct — a death threat — is based on falsehoods and amounts to an act of workplace violence.”
Joseph R. Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Boston Division, said in a statement that the doctor had been targeted because she was caring for gender nonconforming children.
“No one,” he said, “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.”