Federal prosecutors are appealing the 30-day sentence a judge imposed on Rene Boucher in the case involving the retired physician’s tackling of his neighbor, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul.
Boucher pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green to assaulting a member of Congress, admitting to tackling Paul on Nov. 3 as the senator mowed his yard.
Bradley Shepard, the special prosecutor appointed to the case, sought a 21-month sentence for Boucher.
The assault charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, but federal sentencing guidelines, which take into account a defendant’s criminal history and the nature of the criminal offense, advised 21 months as a minimum sentence for Boucher.
U.S. District Judge Marianne Battani of the Eastern District of Michigan, who was appointed as a special judge in this case, ordered Boucher to serve 30 days and fined him $10,000.
Battani determined that the attack was an “isolated incident” that she perceived as a “dispute between neighbors,” rather than being politically motivated.
Boucher maintained that he lost his temper and attacked Paul on the senator’s property after seeing Paul repeatedly stack leaves, twigs and other yard debris on a portion of his property near the shared line with Boucher.
Paul’s office said after the sentencing hearing that the 21 months requested by Shepard would have been the appropriate punishment.
Shepard filed a notice of appeal late Friday, requesting the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit to consider an alternative punishment to the 30 days imposed by Battani.
Based in Cincinnati, the Sixth Circuit appeals court hears appeals of federal cases from Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Michigan, and is one step below the U.S. Supreme Court.
Paul and Boucher, who had little interaction with one another for several years, have been tied together since the Nov. 3 incident.
In addition to the criminal case, Paul filed a lawsuit against Boucher in Warren Circuit Court less than two weeks ago seeking unspecified damages and an injunction to prevent Boucher from having any future contact with the senator.
Boucher filed a counterclaim last week which seeks to hold Paul liable for the multiple incidents of stacking yard debris in the months leading up to the tackle, saying the piles constituted a private nuisance and trespass and violated restrictions in Paul’s property deed as well as regulations in the bylaws and protective covenants of the Rivergreen Homeowner’s Association.