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Historic reform on military sex assault investigations in the wake of the Vanessa Guillén tragedy.

WASHINGTON — Congress is on the verge of passing sweeping reforms to how the military handles claims of crimes including sexual assault, rape and murder — changes spurred by the killing of Army Spc. Vanessa Guillén in Texas — including removing decisions on whether to prosecute service members from the military’s chain of command.

The historic reforms, at least a decade in the making, are included in a $768 billion defense authorization bill that passed the House late Tuesday night with overwhelming bipartisan support — a major victory for the Guillén family, which has spent more than a year calling for changes to address the scourge of sexual assault in the military, where some 20,000 assaults are estimated to occur each year.


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