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Senator optimistic for passage of sex assault bill

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

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

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

Gillibrand said 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.

 
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