BEXAR COUNTY, TX – A Texas deputy has been accused of sexually molesting a 4-year-old relative and blackmailing her illegal immigrant mother with deportation if she reported him.

Authorities have arrested 47-year-old Jose Nunez, a 10-year veteran of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, on a felony charge of super aggravated sexual assault of a child.

Nunez allegedly sexually molested a 4-year-old relative multiple times over the last few months or possibly for the last two years.

Police believe the girl’s mother was made aware of the assaults but was hesitant to report them because Nunez took advantage of her undocumented status to “place the mother in fear that she would be deported,” Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said.

The girl’s mother finally decided being deported was worth protecting her daughter and she took the girl to a local fire station to report what Nunez was doing.

Nunez was subsequently arrested and is being held without bail in the same detention center where he once worked. If he’s found guilty of the charge he is facing a minimum of 25 years in jail.

The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office is conducting a separate but concurrent internal affairs investigation as they believe there could be more victims.

“Folks like this are creatures of habit and opportunity,” Salazar said. “I don’t know that he was purposely targeting the undocumented community. Certainly, I think what appealed to him, in this case anyway, is the vulnerability of that community because of the fact that they’re less apt to report things.”

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