A federal judge yesterday sentenced Matthew Haviland, 30, of North Kingstown, RI to 21 months in federal prison for an online hate spree in March, 2019 in which he sent 28 messages to a Harvard professor threatening to rip the professor limb from limb, after first eating his or her eyeballs, because of the professor's support of abortion and opposition to President Trump.
Haviland had pleaded guilty to one count of stalking and two counts of transmitting a threat in interstate commerce in August.
Prosecutors say that in addition to terrorizing the professor and his or her family, Haviland sent similar messages to the particular Harvard school where the professor taught, threatening to blow it up - and followed that up the next month by making similar comments on a pro-choice article on the medium.com Web site. And he left roughly 114 threatening voice-mail messages at a Rhode Island women's health center, according to prosecutors.
In a statement, US Attorney Andrew Lelling noted that the right to free speech does not extend to threatening to eat somebody's eyeballs:
Today’s sentence affirms that these are serious crimes that warrant punishment.
Following his prison time, Haviland will be let out on "supervised release" for three years.