June 15, 2018 / 8:51 PM / a month ago

Kentucky man gets 30-day sentence in attack on Senator Rand Paul

(Reuters) - A federal judge on Friday sentenced a Kentucky man to 30 days in prison for assaulting U.S. Senator Rand Paul in an attack last November that left the politician with several broken ribs, prosecutors said.

Rene Boucher, 60, of Bowling Green, Kentucky, must also serve one year of supervised release following his prison stay and pay a $10,000 fine, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana said in a statement.

During the period of supervised release, Boucher will also be ordered to serve 100 hours of community service, Boucher’s attorney Matt Baker said. Boucher was not taken into custody on Friday and within the next several weeks will be given a date to surrender himself to authorities.

In court on Friday, Boucher expressed remorse and apologized to the Paul family, Baker said.

“As he told the court, there isn’t a day, an hour, that goes by that he doesn’t think about it. So again, he’s just very relieved to have this phase of it behind him,” Baker said.

Paul said the original 21-month sentence requested would have been the appropriate punishment and praised the FBI and Justice Department for their handling of the case.

“No one deserves to be violently assaulted,” the senator said in a statement. “A felony conviction is appropriate and hopefully will deter the attacker from further violence.”

On Nov. 3, Paul was mowing his yard wearing headphones when Boucher claimed Paul stacked brush onto a pile near the victim’s property, prosecutors said. Boucher, a physician like Paul, ran onto Paul’s property and tackled him.

Paul suffered multiple fractured ribs and subsequently contracted pneumonia, prosecutors said.

On three occasions before the attack, Boucher had cleaned up yard debris placed on the line between the two men’s properties, Baker said in a telephone interview. On Nov. 3, it appeared to Boucher that a fresh pile of yard debris was being reconstructed “and Dr. Boucher lost his temper momentarily,” Baker said.

Boucher, who pleaded guilty in March, admitted assaulting the Republican senator, but denied it was politically motivated, prosecutors said.

Local charges were dismissed in lieu of the federal felony charge, said Tim Horty, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana.

The Indiana office prosecuted the case following the recusal of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky, where the crime occurred. U.S. District Judge Marianne Battani from the Eastern District of Michigan sentenced Boucher in federal court in Kentucky.

FILE PHOTO: Rene Boucher, 59, of Bowling Green, who Kentucky State Police says assaulted U.S. Senator Rand Paul at his residence, and charged with one count of Assault, is seen in this Warren County Detention Center photo, in Bowling Green, Kentucky, U.S., November 3, 2017. Courtesy Warren County Detention Center/Handout via REUTERS

Reporting by Suzannah Gonzales in Chicago; editing by G Crosse and Leslie Adler

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