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A sheriff’s deputy in San Antonio is accused of sexually assaulting a 4-year-old girl and threatening the child’s mother, who is undocumented, that she would be deported if she told authorities about the abuse. Jose Nunez, 47, who was employed by the Bexar County Sheriff’s Department, faces a charge of super aggravated sexual assault of a child. Nunez faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted, according to Leslie Garza of the Bexar County district attorney’s office.

The victim is related to the suspect, according to Sheriff Javier Salazar, but details of their relationship has not been made public. Salazar noted that investigators believe there may be more victims, and that the abuse against the known victim may have taken place over a period of months or years.

“The details of this are quite frankly heartbreaking, disturbing, disgusting and infuriating all at the same time,” Salazar said.

A case of ‘super aggravated sexual assault of a child’ occurs if the victim is less than six years old, or if a victim is less than fourteen years old in combination with other factors, like the use of a deadly weapon, during the assault.

William Chumbley, who is representing Nunez, did not respond to requests for comments by Monday morning.

Authorities became aware of the case after the victim’s mother fled to a fire station at night, according to Salazar. Nunez was arrested before sunrise on Sunday, while he was off duty. He was arrested by his former colleagues of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Department.

Authorities are planning to give the victim’s mother protected status, Salazar said. “I would urge anybody that may be undocumented that is a victim of a crime or a witness to a crime to please come forward and report it”.

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