FORT BRAGG -

An Army general accused of sexual assault is pleading guilty to three lesser charges, but maintains his innocence on five remaining counts.

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair pleaded Thursday in a military courtroom at Fort Bragg. His primary accuser is a female captain who claims Sinclair twice forced her to perform oral sex and threatened to kill her family if she told anyone about their three-year affair.

Sinclair is admitting to having improper relationships with two other female Army officers and to committing adultery with the primary accuser, which is a crime in the military. He also is admitting violating orders by possessing a cache of pornography in Afghanistan and to conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.

Sinclair will now face trial on the remaining charges.

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A U.S. Army general accused of sexual assault is set to plead guilty to three lesser charges in a move that his lawyer says will strengthen his position going into trial.

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair plans to enter the plea before opening statements scheduled for Thursday morning in his court martial at Fort Bragg.

Sinclair still faces five charges including sexual assault in his trial before a jury of five two-star generals. The former deputy commander of the 82nd Airborne could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted on the most serious charges.

Sinclair's lawyer Richard Scheff said in an interview that his client is taking responsibility for his actions.