Note: Both the story and the attached affidavit containing potentially triggering text.
A Rhode Island man was arrested today on federal charges of cyberstalking and transmitting a threat in interstate commerce for a series of violent anti-abortion and anti-Democratic e-mail messages he sent to a professor in Massachusetts and the admissions office at a professional school at the professor's university last month.
Matthew Haviland, 30, of North Kingstown, was scheduled for arraignment today in US District Court in Boston, the US Attorney's office in Boston reports.
According to an affidavit by a Chelsea detective working on the Boston-area Joint Terrorism Task Force, Haviland, who went to school in Boston between 2008 and 2012, issued several violent threats in a barrage of 28 e-mail messages he sent on March 10 to the professor. Officials did not identify the professor but said had published articles both in favor of abortion rights and against President Trump. WCVB reports the professor teaches at Harvard.
The messages included:
You who try to shut up people based on race, you who take a president who's taking our country in a place of more freedom rather than less, you who would brutally murder a child after they were born (or before they were born).
You are Evil. Pure evil - all Democrats must be eradicated, like the Confederates before them and among their ranks. They must be slaughtered.
You deserve to have your innards ripped from your body and savored over the flesh of all Abortion doctors.
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.
I will kill every Democrat in the world so we never more have to have our babies brutally murdered by you absolute terrorists. I will enjoy ripping the skin from your bodies peace by piece while you scream in agony.
A few days later, the affidavit continues, Haviland sent similar messages to the admissions office at the professor's university.
The affidavit says that the professor, alarmed at the messages, contacted police. North Kingstown Police, who had already made several wellness checks on Haviland over the preceding few months, were alerted about the messages and paid another visit to Haviland:
Haviland stated that he was only expressing his political views and has no intention of harming himself or anyone else. He admitted that some of his language had been strong. The police recommended that Haviland think about the way his statements would be interpreted by those who read or heard them and Haviland agreed that he would.
On April 4 and 5, he left roughly 114 voice messages at a Rhode Island abortion clinic about Nazis and murdered babies, the affidavit continues.
Just two days ago, he posted a YouTube video saying it would be OK to murder an abortion doctor.
In a statement, Joseph Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI Boston Division said:
Simply put, words matter, and today’s arrest of Matthew Haviland should serve as a warning to others who think they can use the internet to terrorize people. Don’t do it. Everyone has the right to express their opinion, but when you threaten, harass, intimidate, and put others in fear for their lives, it’s a federal crime.
If convicted, he faces up to five years in federal prison.