Woman faces federal indictment for calling a Boston hospital into a hoax shooting threat over gender-affirmation care


“Boston Children’s Hospital has been under constant harassment “The campaign is based on spreading information online about the services offered by the hospital’s multi-gender specialty services, which, according to the hospital, provide individualized, safe and affirming care to gender diverse and transgender people and their families,” said Rollins.

Catherine Leavy of Westfield, Massachusetts, was arrested Thursday by FBI agents at her home without incident and charged with making a false telephone threat, said Boston FBI Special Agent in Charge Joseph Bonavolonta.

The hospital received a threatening phone call on Aug. 30 said, in part, “There’s a bomb on the way to the hospital. You better evacuate everybody, patients,” Rollins said.

The threat led to a lockdown of the hospital and surrounding areas and the dispatch of a bomb squad, Rollins said, and it was determined that “no explosives were found at the hospital.”

Investigators were able to identify a cellphone account that made the call and link it to Leavy “through court-authorized search warrants and other techniques,” according to Rollins. The phone used to make the alleged threat was recovered when Leavy was arrested, he said.

Although multiple threats have been called into the hospital, Rollins said Leavy is only being charged with one call at this time.

The 37-year-old appeared before a magistrate judge Thursday afternoon for an initial appearance, Rollins said, and will await a detention hearing scheduled for Friday afternoon.

CNN has reached out to an attorney for Leavy for comment.

Boston Children’s Hospital, which calls itself “home to the first pediatric and adolescent transgender health program in the United States,” says it has received a “high volume” of threats of violence for providing such care.

Gender confirmation care is medically necessary, evidence-based care, using a multidisciplinary approach to help a person transition from their assigned gender — the gender they were named at birth — to their confirmed gender — the gender they want to be. known

Major medical associations — including the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Child and Narrative Psychiatry — agree that gender-affirming care is clinically appropriate for children and adults.

Misinformation circulating online has suggested that Boston Children’s performed genital surgeries on young children. The hospital says it provides general care for transgender or non-binary children, but the surgeries are only performed on consenting adults.

Rollins would not comment on a motive for the alleged bomb threat, but said, “In general, health care providers who provide care to gender diverse and transgender people deserve to do so without fear.”

CNN’s Jen Christensen contributed to this report.