Boston, MA– Matthew Haviland, age 30, of North Kingston, RI was arraigned on Wednesday in Boston federal court. WHDH reported that the man is being held on charges of cyberstalking and transmitting a threat in interstate commerce.
Of the charges, United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling said: "...this office will take a hard line on threats of violence motivated by politicized issues, regardless of whether those issues arise on the right or the left."
On March 10, Haviland sent approximately 28 emails to a Massachusetts professor who has published books about and spoken in favor of abortion rights. Haviland's emails contained specific and gruesomely violent threats. A sampling (and be aware before you read on, these are some graphic descriptions) –
- “I will rip every limb from your body and eat it, piece by piece.”
- “I will bite through your eyeballs while you’re still alive, and I will laugh while you scream.”
- “You will have your face ripped off and eaten by me, personally. I will enjoy raping your body after you’re dead. And that will only be the start.”
The criminal complaint alleges that in email messages to the school where the professor is employed, Haviland said: "You should be Murdered in cold blood."
Haviland also posted violent messages online, directed toward pro-choice and abortion rights groups: “You guys are so evil and so brainwashed, I would kill every one of you with my bare hands – or AT LEAST kill every abortion doctor.” A women's health clinic reported receiving 114 voicemail messages from Haviland overnight on April 4 with similar threats.
These disturbing and graphic emails were reported as a criminal complaint to the police. If Haviland is convicted, he can face up to five years in federal prison and up to three years of supervised release after he is released from prison. A fine of up to $250,000 may also be imposed. Haviland is due back in Boston federal court on Monday April 29, for a detention hearing.
Local and Boston police departments have not released the victim’s (professor’s) name to the public.