The man accused of attacking U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R.-Ky., at his home in November has been charged with assaulting a member of congress resulting in personal injury — a federal felony.
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Josh J. Minkler announced the charge against Paul’s neighbor, 58-year-old Rene Boucher of Bowling Green, the Courier Journal reported.
“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.”
According to Minkler’s statement, Boucher has signed a plea agreement, although a date has not been set for him to enter his plea.
Paul was mowing his lawn on Nov. 3 and wearing headphones when he was attacked by Boucher, reportedly because Boucher had become angered by seeing Paul stacking brush on a pile near Boucher’s property, court records revealed. Boucher, who had been Paul’s neighbor for 17 years, ran onto Paul’s property and assaulted him.
Paul suffered six broken ribs, damage to his lungs and two bouts of pneumonia as a result of the attack.
“It was sort of a living hell for the first four or five weeks,” Paul said in early January regarding his condition following the attack.
“Couldn’t get out of bed without assistance,” Paul said. “It was really a tough go of it, but each day I feel a little bit better. This last month I’ve been doing better.”
Due to his injuries, Paul was kept away from the Capitol for weeks.
Boucher pleaded not guilty to the initial misdemeanor charge of assaulting Paul and was ordered to stay 1,000 feet away from Paul and his family. Boucher has now admitted to perpetrating the felony attack, although he continues to claim that it was not politically motivated.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Bradley P. Shepard reported that Boucher faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.