Senator optimistic that sex assault bill will pass

Pentagon estimates thousands of assaults yearly

WASHINGTON - 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 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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