A third paratrooper has been charged with engaging in sex acts on a gay porn website.

Wesley Mitten, 21, one of seven accused soldiers, pleaded guilty to appearing on the site and to sodomy, cocaine use and detrimental conduct.

He joins private Kagen Mullen and Richard Ashley, who pleaded guilty last month.

The charges do not explicitly mention the name of the website in question. However, a spokesperson confirmed that the charges directly relate to an investigation into pictures posted on the ActiveDuty website. The military-themed Web site did not make any direct reference to the division or Fort Bragg, a sprawling post about 70 miles south of Raleigh.

“As far as we’re concerned, it’s isolated to the unit, and our investigation determined that these seven individuals were the only ones” involved, said 82nd Airborne spokesman Major Thomas Earnhardt.

The charges indicate the soldiers’ behaviour is “a much more serious matter than just their sexual orientation,” said Steve Ralls, a spokesman for Servicemembers Legal Defence Network, a legal group that helps gays and lesbians in the military.

Four other unnamed soldiers received non judicial punishments.