Federal law enforcement and prosecutors have arrested a suspect following a “hoax” bomb threat against Boston Children’s Hospital, which has faced a wave of harassing messages and threats of violence after far-right influencers and anti-trans activists promoted false claims about its gender-affirming care programme.
Catherine Leavy was arrested on 15 September. She faces one count of making a false bomb threat and remains in custody pending a detention hearing at noon on Friday.
On 30 August, she allegedly called the hospital and told the operator that “there is a bomb on the way to the hospital, you better evacuate everybody, you sickos,” according to federal prosecutors.
Law enforcement officials did not discuss a motive for the call but stressed that the hospital has endured “a sustained harassment campaign” against the hospital for its services for transgender patients and their families, according to US Attorney Rachael Rollins.
“Healthcare providers who support and care for gender diverse and transgender people and their families deserve to do so and without fear,” she said.
The hospital has faced dozens of hoax threats, including harassing phone calls and emails, individual death therats and threats of mass casualty attacks, according to law enforcement officials.
“This has caused a huge amount of angst, alarm and unnecessary expenditure of law enforcement resources,” according to FBI special agent in charge Joe Bonavolonta.
This is a developing story