A Kentucky man accused of attacking U.S. Senator Rand Paul outside his residence has agreed to plead guilty to a charge of assaulting a member of Congress, however he has informed investigators his reasoning was not politically motivated, officials stated on Friday.
The Republican Paul’s neighbor, Rene Boucher, 58, was charged with assaulting a member of Congress resulting in personal injury, which is a felony under federal law.
Paul was carrying headphones whereas mowing his garden when Boucher turned angered by seeing the 55-year-old senator stack brush close to Boucher’s property, the U.S. Department of Justice stated in an announcement.
Federal prosecutors will ask a judge to impose a sentence of 21 months in jail in for the Nov. 3rd assault at a gated neighborhood in Bowling Green, Kentucky, courtroom paperwork confirmed. Boucher may have face as much as 10 years behind bars.
Boucher had “had enough” and he ran onto Paul’s yard and tackled him, the statement mentioned, causing Paul to endure multiple fractured ribs in addition to complications that meant he contracted pneumonia.
The assault raised questions on whether or not Paul had been targeted due to his politics. But Boucher, who like Paul is a doctor, informed investigators that was not the case, the statement read.
Boucher’s lawyer, Matthew Baker, stated the pair had a long-standing dispute over property upkeep.
“Dr. Boucher is a very meticulous sort of fellow,” Baker stated. “He continues to be a very regretful and very remorseful. I know that he wishes that it had never happened.”
A spokesman for Paul declined to comment on the federal charge.
Josh Minkler, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, stated assaulting a member of Congress was an offense that the authorities take very seriously.
Minkler was assigned to the case following the recusal of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the western district of Kentucky, the place the assault occurred.
No date has been set for the taking of Boucher’s guilty plea and sentencing. Boucher had beforehand pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge that was levied by local prosecutors in Kentucky in reference to the incident.