The Capital Times reported Thursday state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, D-Alma, wrote a character reference for former Democratic Legislative Council attorney David L. Lovell who was found guilty of child pornography possession. The Capital Times reported that Vinehout, a Democratic candidate for governor, was the only member of the legislature to send a character reference to the judge before the sentencing of Lovell.

Vinehout did not ask for a reduced sentence in the letter, but said, “The allegations are completely inconsistent with the skilled expert I worked with for eight years. I never observed him to engage in any behavior other than that of a dedicated professional.”

According to the Capital Times, Lovell was investigated after law enforcement believed his computer was a source for distributing child pornography. Lovell was sentenced to concurrent three-year prison sentences for each of five Class D felony counts of child pornography possession and was given an additional three years of extended supervision. Lovell is on the state’s sex offender registry until 2038.

The Capital Times has the complete letter online.

“Kathleen Vinehout’s actions are appalling and indefensible – she should apologize immediately to Wisconsin families for her poor judgement, and all Democrats running for governor should immediately disavow her actions,” party spokesman Alec Zimmerman said in a statement.

The Republicans called on another Democratic candidate, Andy Gronik, to criticize Vinehout. Gronik once signed a Foundations for Freedom pledge to combat the sexual exploitation of women and children.