Rand Paul Attacker Faces Federal Charges

(CN) – U.S. Senator Rand Paul’s longtime neighbor faces federal charges after attacking him last November.

Josh Minkler, a U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, announced the felony charges Friday against 58-year-old Rene Boucher. Specifically, Boucher is charged with assaulting a member of Congress resulting in personal injury.

Boucher claims the assault stemmed from a property dispute between Boucher and Paul.

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

Boucher has reportedly agreed to a plea deal, although no future court dates have been set. The charges carry a maximum fine of $250,000, and could land Boucher in jail for up to 10 years.

The incident took place in Bowling Green, Kentucky, on Nov. 3, 2017. According to court documents, Paul was doing yard work while wearing headphones.

As the Republican senator stacked more brush on a brush pile, Boucher executed a “running tackle” on him. Blindsided, Paul suffered fractured ribs. He later developed pneumonia as a result of the injuries.

After Kentucky State Police responded to the incident, Boucher reportedly did not deny that he had attacked Paul.

According to the plea agreement, Boucher said the attack was not politically motivated, and that it was a property dispute “that had finally boiled over.”

The Louisville Office of the FBI further investigated the incident.

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

The case was later assigned to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana after the recusal of the Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky.

The senator’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

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