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Prosecutors appeal sentence for man who attacked Sen. Rand Paul

A judge who described the incident as a dispute between neighbors sentenced Rene Boucher to 30 days. The government had sought 21 months.
by Associated Press /
Image: Rene Boucher
Rene Boucher, center, appears 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 file

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Federal prosecutors are appealing the 30-day sentence given to the man who tackled U.S. Sen. Rand Paul while the lawmaker was doing yard work at his Kentucky home.

U.S. Special Attorney Bradley Shepard filed the motion to appeal Rene Boucher's sentence to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Prosecutors had sought a 21-month sentence.

Paul, who suffered multiple broken ribs in the attack last November, said after the sentencing that 21 months would have been "the appropriate punishment." The senator said "no one deserves to be violently assaulted."

Boucher pleaded guilty to assaulting a member of Congress and was sentenced last month in Kentucky. Boucher has said he was triggered by Paul stacking debris near their property line in Bowling Green and "lost his temper."

Boucher asked for leniency, saying what he did was wrong. Shepard called the attack "vicious and unprovoked."

U.S. District Judge Marianne Battani, a special judge called in from Michigan, described the attack as a "dispute between neighbors" and an "isolated incident," not motivated by politics.

Boucher also must serve a year of supervised release after the prison time, stay away from the Paul family and pay a $10,000 fine.

Image: Rand Paul
Sen. Rand Paul.Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP file

Boucher's attorney, Matt Baker, said Monday he will file a motion to dismiss the government's appeal. He said the judge issued an "appropriate" punishment and noted that Boucher had apologized to Paul and the lawmaker's family.

"Now, not only is the government appealing the sentence, apparently because it is not draconian enough, but Sen. Paul is also suing — despite the fact that he has incurred no out-of-pocket medical expenses and no lost income," Baker said in a statement.

Paul, a former presidential candidate, recently filed a civil lawsuit against Boucher asking for medical costs and attorney fees relating to the incident.

Baker said he has filed a motion seeking to dismiss part of the civil suit and filed a counter suit, which claims Paul paid no out-of-pocket medical costs.

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