A West Genesee Central School District board of education member was charged with two felony sex offenses after he attempted to have sexual contact with a 12-year-old child in the Cayuga County town of Aurelius, state police said in a press release Tuesday. 

James M. Soper, 45, of Onondaga, was arrested by state police officers Monday afternoon and charged with attempted first-degree criminal sexual act with a minor who is less than 13 years old and attempted first-degree disseminating indecent material to a minor, both felonies.

According to state police, Soper was arraigned in the town of Aurelius Court Monday night and remanded to the Cayuga County Jail. He was released after posting $5,000 in bail around 8 p.m. Monday and is due back in court Wednesday. 

West Genesee Superintendent Christopher Brown told The Citizen Tuesday that the school district will call for Soper's resignation immediately. According to the school board's website, Soper's term runs through June 30, 2020.

"When I woke up this morning and heard the news, two words came to mind immediately," Brown said. "One word was shock, the other was disappointed. You cannot have any tolerance for behavior like this when you're a steward for the school district. You just can't."

State police investigators declined to answer additional questions from The Citizen, but Brown said police informed him that this was an "isolated incident."

Staff writer Natalie Brophy can be reached at (315)282-2239 or natalie.brophy@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter @brophy_natalie. 

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