According to the statement, Lindner said in his message that “a group of people are on their way to treat the doctor” and that “you signed your own warrant.” His message also told the recipient to “sleep well” and said, “You’re all going to burn.” He accused her of castrating children, according to the statement.
Lindner, of Comfort, Tex., was charged with one count of sending interstate threats, and will appear in federal court in Boston at an undetermined date, the statement said. If convicted, he could face up to five years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000, the statement said.
Lindner’s alleged victim was not identified, but was described by prosecutors as a doctor who cares for transgender and gender-nonconforming patients at the National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center, which provides education programs and health care for sexual and gender minorities and is part of the Fenway Institute.
Prosecutors said the alleged threat was made the same month Boston Children’s Hospital, which is less than a mile from downtown, was the target of a campaign of harassment over the care it provided to transgender patients. Inaccurate information spread online about the procedures it carries out, authorities said.
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“The words used here do not amount to anyone simply expressing displeasure or engaging in a heated debate,” U.S. Attorney Rachael S. Rollins said of Lindner in the statement. “Mr. Lindner’s alleged conduct – a death threat – is based on untruths and amounts to an act of workplace violence.”
“No one should be afraid of violence because of who they are, what kind of work they do, where they come from or what they believe,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston Division. added in the statement.
The Washington Post was unable to reach Lindner Sunday morning. The Associated Press reported on Saturday that it was unclear whether Lindner is being represented by an attorney.
Fenway Health, which runs the Fenway Institute, said it would continue to work with law enforcement to combat threats against health care providers and the families using their services.
“As negative rhetoric around the LGBTQIA+ community — and transgender and gender-diverse people in particular — continues to escalate, attacks on medical professionals who provide gender-affirming healthcare are on the rise,” a spokesperson for the organization said in a statement to The Na. “We are grateful for the prompt action of law enforcement officials to end the hate-driven threats and harassment directed at this physician.”
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Lindner’s case is one of the more extreme examples of a long-running harassment campaign against healthcare providers working with transgender children and adolescents that escalated in August.
On August 30, a day before Lindner’s alleged threat, Boston Children’s Hospital — the first in the country to establish its own pediatric and adolescent transgender health program — was forced to close by authorities after receiving an anonymous bomb threat, which turned out to be fake. to be. A 37-year-old woman from Westfield, Massachusetts, was later arrested and charged by federal prosecutors in connection with the hoax. According to the FBI, the call was one of dozens of hoax threats Boston Children’s Hospital received in recent months.
The hospital said its employees were harassed after conservative influencers attacked them in false and misleading social media posts, directing much of their vitriol towards the hospital’s Gender Multispecialty Service program. The program specializes in caring for young people with gender dysphoria, the condition where a person’s gender does not match the gender they were assigned at birth.
Leading medical groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, support providing gender-affirming care to youth with gender dysphoria.
Medical treatment of transgender people – particularly for young people – has become a controversial issue for conservative activists and politicians, who in recent months have intensified their criticism of gender-affirming surgery and therapy and sought to restrict access to such services.
Derek Hawkins and Meena Venkataramanan contributed to this report.