Rene Boucher tackled Paul after a dispute over yard waste
♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com editor
BOWLING GREEN, Kentucky (CFP) — A neighbor of U.S. Senator Rand Paul will spend 30 days in jail for an assault last November outside Paul’s Bowling Green home that left the senator with broken ribs.
Rene Boucher, 60, who pleaded guilty in March to a felony charge of assaulting a member of Congress resulting in injury, was sentenced June 15 in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green.
He was also fined $10,000 and sentenced to a year of probation after his release, according to a statement from the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, which prosecuted the case.
The Bowling Green Daily News reported that Boucher apologized to Paul in court, saying, “I’m embarrassed and I hope (Paul) and his family will one day be able to accept my apology.”
“I lost my temper and I did not behave well, and I was wrong. I did not think I would be in a courthouse at the center of all this,” he said, according to the Daily News.
Federal prosecutors had sought a stiffer sentence of 21 months in prison for Boucher. Paul, who did not attend the sentencing hearing, expressed some dissatisfaction with the lighter sentence in a statement: “The original 21-month sentence requested would have been the appropriate punishment.”
“No one deserves to be violently assaulted. A felony conviction is appropriate and hopefully will deter the attacker from further violence,” Paul said in the statement.
The attack occurred last November 3 in the upscale Rivergreen subdivision east of Bowling Green, where Paul and Boucher, who are both medical doctors, are neighbors. Paul was mowing his yard when Boucher tackled him to the ground, breaking several ribs.
Paul later contracted pneumonia, which can be a complication of rib injuries.
Boucher denied any political motivation for the assault, saying he attacked Paul in anger after the senator repeatedly piled yard waste near the property line between their homes. However, Paul said Boucher had never complained to him about the waste.
Boucher was originally charged with assault in state court, but because Paul was a member of Congress, federal prosecutors later took over the case, which was turned over to the Southern District of Indiana after the Western District of Kentucky was recused.