Army general accused of sexually assaulting female captain expected to plead guilty

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A U.S. Army general accused of sexually assaulting a female captain is set to plead guilty to three lesser charges Thursday in a move that his lawyer says will strengthen his position going into trial.

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

The primary accuser in the case is a female captain who says Sinclair twice forced her to perform oral sex and threatened to kill her family if she told anyone about their three-year affair.

The 51-year-old 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.

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