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Rand Paul’s alleged attacker charged with federal crime

Rand Paul’s alleged attacker charged with federal crime
© Greg Nash

The neighbor of Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSaudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP Noisy democracy, or rude people behaving like children? Lawmakers, Wall Street shrug off Trump's escalating Fed attacks MORE who is accused of attacking the Kentucky Republican has been charged with a federal crime, the Department of Justice announced Friday. 

Rene Boucher, 58, of Bowling Green, Ky., has been charged with assaulting a member of Congress, resulting in personal injury, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Josh Minkler announced.

On Nov. 3, Boucher allegedly "had enough" after seeing Paul stack brush onto a pile near the senator's property, according to court documents. 

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Boucher then ran onto Paul's property and tackled him, leaving him with six broken ribs, the documents state.

Paul returned to the Senate two weeks after the incident. Earlier this month, he described the initial weeks of his recovery as "a living hell."

While Boucher has signed a plea agreement, no date has been set for him to enter his guilty plea, the Justice Department said.

He faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, according to the agreement.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky, which would normally handle the case, recused itself, leaving it instead to the U.S. Attorney's Office in southern Indiana.

Paul told Fox News in late November that he wasn't sure the motive behind the assault, saying the two had not spoken in roughly a decade.

“After my ribs were broken, then he said things to me to try to indicate why he was unhappy but I think the, I guess to me the bottom line is it isn’t so important — if someone mugs you is it really justified for any reason?" Paul said.

Paul was involved in a separate attack in June when a gunman opened fire on a Republican congressional baseball practice in a Washington suburb. 

"My colleagues come up all the time, and they want to make sure that there is some kind of deterrent because people don't want to think that it's open season on our elected officials," Paul said in an interview with CBS News this month.

"So yeah, I've been involved in violent attacks twice in the last year. And so, we're very aware of it," he said.

Julia Manchester contributed