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Originally published March 2, 2014 at 6:58 PM | Page modified March 3, 2014 at 12:55 AM

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Senator optimistic for passage of sex assault bill

A senator who's led efforts in Congress to address military sexual crimes says she thinks she has the votes to pass legislation that would remove commanders from sexual assault investigations.


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WASHINGTON —

A senator who's led efforts in Congress to address military sexual crimes says she thinks she has the votes to pass legislation that would remove commanders from sexual assault investigations.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand thinks the vote will come this week and she believes the measure will get the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster.

The Pentagon estimates that 26,000 members of the military may have been sexually assaulted last year, though thousands were afraid to come forward.

Gillibrand says victims are afraid of retaliation or are concerned that nothing will be done after reporting incidents of sexual assault.

The New York Democrat has pushed to remove commanders from the investigation following reports that some dismissed sex assault charges.

She appeared on CBS' "Face the Nation."



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