BOSTON (WHDH) - A Rhode Island man is being held behind bars after authorities say he threatened to “rip” the limbs off of a Massachusetts college professor, “eat” his body, and “bite” out his eyeballs in a series of disturbing and graphically detailed emails.
Matthew Haviland, 30, of North Kingstown, of Rhode Island, was arraigned Wednesday in Boston federal court on charges including cyberstalking and transmitting a threat in interstate commerce, United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling announced.
“As I have said before, 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,” Lelling said in a statement.
Over the span of several hours on March 10, Haviland allegedly sent a Massachusetts professor a string of approximately 28 emails containing messages that included such threats as, “I will rip every limb from your body and eat it, piece by piece,” and “I will bite through your eyeballs while you’re still alive, and I will laugh while you scream,” according to a criminal complaint.
The professor to whom Haviland sent the threats has published and spoken in favor of abortion rights, and several of the emails made reference to abortion, the complaint indicated.
In two successive emails, the complaint says Haviland wrote, “You will be held accountable for every [expletive] baby you murdered through your horrible deception of they are not humans,” and “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 complaint includes a description of additional, abortion-related messages Haviland is alleged to have sent or posted on the internet.
Those messages included approximately 114 voice messages that Haviland left overnight at a women’s medical center beginning April 4 and text messages he sent to an acquaintance that included the following: “It never was a Woman’s rights issue. It’s literally killing babies. That’s All it is, and We want you to stop it. Or we will kill you to do it. It’s that Serious. It’s not a Joke.”
In an internet posting allegedly written on March 29, Haviland wrote, “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.”
It is alleged that between the evening of March 15 and the early morning of March 16, Haviland sent approximately 12 emails to the school in which the victim works.
The emails are said to have touched on the subjects of race, gender, and physical disability, and included the messages: “[Expletive], my existence is not a blight on society. Yours is, for pushing the idea that if you are able-bodied or white or okay WITH THE [EXPLETIVE] GENDER YOU WERE BORN WITH, you are a bad person. You people are Evil, putrid, and somebody shoudl [sic] BOMB your school for spreading the idea that it’s okay to HATE people because of their race.”
A later email to the school said only, “You should be Murdered in cold blood,” according to the complaint.
If convicted, Haviland faces up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000.
He is due back in court on Monday for a detention hearing.
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