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Rand Paul’s accused attacker pleads not guilty to assault

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By Bernie Woodall

(Reuters) – The man accused of tackling U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and breaking his ribs as he was mowing his lawn pleaded not guilty on Thursday to a misdemeanor assault charge, a court official said.

Rene Boucher, 59, waived the formal reading of the charge at a hearing in Bowling Green, Kentucky, Warren County Attorney Amy Milliken said by telephone.

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Boucher, the Republican senator’s neighbor, is charged with fourth-degree assault causing minor injury, for which he faces up to a year in jail if convicted. A pretrial hearing was set for Nov. 30.

Paul, 54, told police that Boucher came onto his property in a gated community near Bowling Green and tackled him from behind, the Bowling Green Daily News reported, citing an arrest warrant.

Paul said on Twitter on Wednesday that he suffered six broken ribs and that X-rays showed a pleural effusion, which is a buildup of fluid in the tissues that line the lungs and the chest.

The Kentucky State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are investigating last Friday’s incident, Milliken said.

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Citing unnamed sources, Fox News reported on Thursday that Paul had been told federal charges were expected in the case. The senator’s office did not immediately reply to a request for comment on that possibility.

Matt Baker, Boucher’s attorney, was not immediately available to comment.

Baker told Bowling Green television station WBKO that the incident was related to a property dispute and called the idea that Paul was “blindsided” an unfair characterization. Baker also told the TV station that politics was not a motivating factor in the dispute.

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Media reports have said Boucher, also a physician like Paul, had a long-running dispute with the senator.

Milliken said Boucher’s $7,500 bond requiring him to keep a distance of at least 1,000 feet (305 m) between himself and Paul remained in effect.

Earlier this week, U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Paul would return next week.

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(Reporting by Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Editing by Tom Brown and Peter Cooney)


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Ken Cuccinelli defends denying entry to hurricane-struck Bahamians who should be ‘taking care of their own’

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Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Ken Cuccinelli insisted on Sunday that Bahamians should help themselves instead of fleeing to the United States after thousands were left homeless by Hurricane Dorian.

During an interview with CBS host Margaret Brennan, Cuccinelli was asked why the Trump administration is making it "harder to flee to this country" for Bahamians who were left homeless by the hurricane.

Cuccinelli, however, argued that the Trump administration is "making it easier" for Bahamians to travel to the U.S.

"The Bahamas is a perfectly legitimate country capable of taking care of their own," the USCIS chief said. "We rushed resources in, whether it was from USAID or the Coast Guard, who were downright heroic."

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Kamala Harris blisters Kavanaugh for lying to her during his hearings and calls for him to be impeached

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In a blunt tweet issued on Sunday morning, Democratic Presidential contender, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) accused Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of lying to the U.S. Senate during his confirmation hearings and said he must be impeached.

Following a New York Times report outlining credible allegations against Kavanaugh, with a witness accusing him of assaulting a fellow college student, Harris said the evidence presented should disqualify him from being on the bench.

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Republicans accused of stifling sexual misconduct claim against Brett Kavanaugh during confirmation

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A new report reveals that Deborah Ramirez, a woman who claims Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while she was a student at Yale University, may have had evidence to corroborate her story — but that Republicans created a process which would stifle her account so that Kavanaugh could be confirmed.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Deborah Ramirez, who alleged that she was assaulted by Kavanaugh at a Yale party when she was an underclassman, had her legal team provide the F.B.I. with a list of at least 25 people who could have had evidence to corroborate her story, but the bureau ultimately interviewed none of them, according to The New York Times. The publication also learned that many of the individuals who could have corroborated Ramirez's story attempted to reach the F.B.I. on their own but were unable to do so.

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