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Iowa House Clears Military Sexual Assault Bill

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An effort to toughen laws against sexual assaults in state military forces and to hold the Iowa National Guard accountable for such abuses has won the Iowa House's support.

The House unanimously voted Tuesday in favor of the measure, which would ensure that victims are aware of their right to report assaults and require the Guard to comply with certain reporting standards. It now returns to the Senate for final consideration.

The bill would require the Iowa National Guard to file a report annually to the Legislature detailing sexual abuse allegations. It would also make it illegal for a commander to interfere in a victim's reporting process.

Rep. Stan Gustafson, a Republican from Cumming, says the purpose of the bill is to protect victims and catch perpetrators.