Man accused of attacking Rand Paul charged with felony assault in plea agreement

Sen. Paul
Sen. Paul

The man accused of attacking U.S. Sen. Rand Paul in November is now facing federal charges, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana.

Rene A. Boucher, 58, of Bowling Green is charged with one count of “assaulting a member of Congress resulting in personal injury,” which is a federal felony, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Boucher has signed a plea agreement in the case, but as of the announcement of the charges on Friday no court date for a guilty plea had been set.

Paul and Boucher are neighbors in Bowling Green. On Nov. 3, 2017, Boucher reportedly saw Paul stack brush onto a pile near his property and “had enough,” according to Friday’s announcement from the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Boucher is accused of running toward Paul and tackling him. Paul said he suffered multiple broken ribs and had fluid on his lungs as a result of the assault. Paul also had to be treated for pneumonia he contracted as a result of the injuries, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Boucher’s attorney, Matthew Baker, reiterated Friday night that the dispute was over a matter “most people would regard as trivial.” He said it was related to Boucher’s and Paul’s yards and maintenance.

“Dr. Boucher is very meticulous about that. Sen. Paul takes a different approach,” Baker said. “It just became … a point of frustration that boiled over.”

The dispute did not involve politics, both Baker and the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Friday.

Boucher regrets what happened “more every day,” Baker said.

Paul told “Face the Nation’s” John Dickerson earlier this month that the first four or five weeks after the assault were “a living hell” and that he wasn’t able to get out of bed without assistance during that time.

Baker said he anticipates the state assault charge against Boucher will be dismissed.

The federal case is being handled by the Louisville FBI office.

Boucher could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, according to the Assistant U.S. Attorney Bradley P. Shepard.

Baker said Friday that he will argue against incarceration in Boucher’s case.

Rand Paul Assaulted
Rene Boucher, center, appeared in court for an arraignment hearing with his attorney Matt Baker, left, on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, at the Warren County Justice Center in Bowling Green, Ky. Austin Anthony AP

Matthew Baker, attorney for the man charged with attacking Sen. Rand Paul, discusses the case.