Neighbor charged with felony assault against Rand Paul

Court documents claim Paul was mowing his yard on Nov. 3 and wearing headphones when Rene Boucher, his neighbor, attacked him.

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Developer Jim Skaggs ‘couldn’t believe’ when he heard that a neighbor allegedly assaulted U.S. Senator Rand Paul outside his home in Bowling Green.
Matt Stone/Louisville Courier Journal

Rene Boucher, right, appears in court for an arraignment in November with his attorneys. Nov. 9, 2017(Photo: Austin Anthony, AP)

Rene Boucher, the 58-year-old Bowling Green man accused of attacking U.S. Sen. Rand Paul at his home in November, has been charged with assaulting a member of congress resulting in personal injury.

The charges – a federal felony – were announced Friday by Josh J. Minkler, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana.

“Assaulting a member of Congress is an offense we take very seriously,” Minkler said. “Those who choose to commit such an act will be held accountable.”

Boucher has signed a plea agreement, according to Minkler’s statement. No date has been set for the taking of his guilty plea.

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Court documents claim Paul was mowing his yard on Nov. 3 and wearing headphones when Boucher, his neighbor, “had enough” after witnessing Paul stacking brush on a pile near Boucher’s property. Boucher ran on to Paul’s property and attacked him, the statement reads, resulting in multiple fractured ribs and more medical attention after Paul later contracted pneumonia.

Boucher has admitted to the assault, Minkler said, but has denied it was politically motivated.

Louisville’s FBI office investigated the case.

“Just as we are committed to protecting the American people, the FBI will not tolerate violence directed against members of Congress,” Special Agent in Charge Amy S. Hess said in a statement. “Those who choose to assault any federal official are certain to face serious consequences.”

Minkler’s statement notes that all defendants are presumed innocent until proven otherwise in court. Boucher could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Bradley P. Shepard.

Boucher had previously pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge in November and had been ordered to stay 1,000 feet away from Paul and his family. Paul had recently said he broke six ribs during the altercation but “each day I feel a little bit better.”

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