The man who broke Sen. Rand Paul’s ribs will spend 30 days in jail for his attack on the Kentucky Republican last November.
After the Friday sentencing, Paul issued a statement in which he said that putting neighbor Rene Boucher in jail for 21 months, as sought by the prosecution, “would have been the appropriate punishment,” according to U.S. News.
“No one deserves to be violently assaulted. A felony conviction with jail time is appropriate and hopefully will deter the attacker from further violence. I commend the FBI and Department of Justice for treating this violent, pre-meditated assault with the seriousness it deserves,” said the statement from Paul, who did not attend the hearing.
Boucher, 60, pleaded guilty in March to assaulting a member of Congress. He said he was triggered by Paul continually piling green waste near their property line in Bowling Green and “lost his temper.”
In an interview with CBS this week, Paul denied there was a dispute between the neighbors over debris.
U.S. District Judge Marianne Battani, who was called in from Michigan to hear the case, called the incident a “dispute between neighbors” and an “isolated incident.” She said it was not motivated by politics.
She urged Boucher, a retired doctor, to move past the incident.
“I know it’s a heavy burden to be a convicted felon, but I hope you can forgive yourself and go on with your life,” she said, according to National Public Radio. “I hope the Pauls can forgive you, but ultimately, that you can forgive yourself.”
As a condition of his sentencing, Boucher — who will still live next to Paul — must serve a year of supervised release, avoid contact with Paul’s family and fork over a $10,000 fine.
Boucher’s attorney, Matt Baker, said the incident was a tragedy for all concerned.
“… it’s a real example of how a momentary lapse in judgment, 20 or 30 seconds of poor decision making, can have such a profound impact not only on Senator Paul, but Dr. Boucher,” he said, according to WKYT-TV.
Boucher apologized for his actions.
“What I did was wrong,” he said. “It’s not something I’m proud of. I’m very embarrassed by it. I never thought I’d be in a courthouse in the middle of all this.”
Although Boucher portrayed the incident as an aberration, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brad Shepard called it “vicious and unprovoked.”
“When you look at what happened here, it was absolutely deplorable,” Shepard said in court.
Paul suffered six broken ribs in the incident.
“It was sort of, I guess, a living hell for the first four or five weeks. Couldn’t get out of bed without assistance, six broken ribs, damage to my lungs, two bouts of pneumonia. It was really a tough go of it,” he said in January, according to CBS.
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