(WRN) -- State Senator and Democratic candidate for governor Kathleen Vinehout is defending a character reference letter she wrote for a man charged with possessing child p*rnography.

Vinehout wrote the letter in 2015, after legislative attorney David Lovell was accused of having child p*rnography on a home computer. Lovell worked on a legislative committee that Vinehout chaired and was convicted in June of this year on five felony child pornography counts. He is currently serving a three years prison sentence.

The Capital Times first reported on the letter, which the Alma Democrat defended in a statement to the paper. Vinehout said she was taught to “hate the sin but not shun the sinner.”

The senator’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment from WRN.

Republican Party of Wisconsin spokesman Alec Zimmerman criticized Vinehout for writing the letter, saying her actions were “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,” Zimmerman argued.

Vinehout launched her campaign for governor on Monday, joining a crowded field of Democratic candidates hoping to take on Republican Governor Scott Walker in 2018.

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