Sen. Rand Paul's neighbor gets an additional 13 months for assault

Back in 2017, Sen. Rand Paul’s neighbor, Rene Boucher, attacked the Senator on his own property, allegedly over a dispute about lawn clippings. The attack left Sen. Paul with several broken ribs. Last August, Paul had a portion of his lung surgically removed because of damage caused by the attack. Boucher was eventually charged with one count of assaulting a member of Congress.

Boucher was initially given a light sentence of just 30 days in jail plus a $10,000 fine and community service. But the case was appealed and last September the appeals court overturned the sentence saying it was too light given the extent of Sen. Paul’s injuries. A review of similar cases involving suspects with no criminal history found the average sentence was more than two years:

The appeals court reviewed the criminal case and compared it to other federal assault cases involving defendants with little or no criminal history, relying on national statistics showing defendants with the lowest criminal history category under federal sentencing guidelines received an average sentence of 26 months for an assault conviction.

Today, Boucher was handed a new sentence which will see him spending a few additional months in prison, though the U.S. attorney said it was still not enough:

The man who tackled Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul in 2017 in anger over Paul piling yard waste near their shared property line has been sentenced to another 13 months behind bars or on home detention…

U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Leitman imposed the additional punishment in a hearing Monday. He sentenced Boucher to another eight months in prison but took off 30 days for the time he already served, and six months on home confinement.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brad Shepard had sought at least 21 months for Boucher. He objected to the lower sentence and indicated the government may appeal.

Sen. Paul testified remotely during today’s sentencing saying he had hernia surgery because of coughing resulting from the injuries sustained in the attack:

During the virtual hearing, Paul, who suffered broken ribs in the November 2017 attack, said he flew 10 feet in the air from the force of the attack and was left with a “significant injury that I have lifelong symptoms from.”

“I don’t know what a night without pain is like or what a day without pain is like, so I do suffer from this,” Paul said. “This was no routine altercation. This was no sort of face-to-face, man-to-man thing.”

Paul testified that he suffered several bouts of pneumonia following the attack and eventually had to have hernia surgery because of all of his chronic coughing.

Eight months still seems pretty light for a violent assault which resulted in hospitalization and surgery. On the plus side, Boucher lost in civil court last year and a jury awarded Sen. Paul a $580,000 judgment.

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