LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A veteran Sheriff’s Department deputy was charged Monday with multiple counts of child molestation for allegedly having sex with a 15-year-old girl whose family he knew socially.

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John Augustus Rose, 43, pleaded not guilty to 17 felony counts, including four counts of lewd act on a child, six counts of penetration by a foreign object, five counts of oral copulation of a person under 16 and one count each of contact with a minor for sexual offense and possession of matter depicting a minor engaging in sexual conduct.

Rose was arrested Thursday for what prosecutors described as a sexual relationship with the teen that began in March and continued through June.

According to prosecutors, Rose drove the 15-year-old to a secluded area to have sex in his squad car on seven different occasions. Prosecutors also allege that Rose exchanged explicit photos via cell phone with the teen, and advised her to tell investigators that the photos were intended for his 14-year-old son.

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An attorney for the 22-year veteran said Rose should be released because “he is a hero to the community.”

Prior to his arrest, Rose was awarded the department’s Medal of Valor for the rescue of a woman trapped in her cabin during the 2002 Curve fire in San Gabriel Canyon.

Rose has been placed on unpaid leave, authorities said. If convicted, he faces more than 13 years in state prison.

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He was being held in lieu of $605,000 bail.