Despite former Penn State President Graham Spanier's protestations, a state grand jury presentment offers compelling evidence to justify the criminal charges filed Thursday.
Spanier, who was fired nearly a year ago after former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested for sexually abusing boys, is facing charges of perjury, obstruction, endangering the welfare of children, failure to properly report suspected abuse and conspiracy.
State Attorney General Linda Kelly announced the charges against Spanier and additional charges against Tim Curley, former PSU athletics director, and Gary Schultz, the former university vice president who oversaw the University Police Department.
Curley and Schultz previously were charged with perjury and failure to report suspected child abuse. They now face additional charges of endangering the welfare of children, criminal conspiracy and obstruction.
Kelly said she expects all three cases will be tried together.
Spanier's attorneys issued a statement declaring his innocence and trying to blame Gov. Tom Corbett for the charges.
"These charges are the work of a vindictive and politically motivated Governor working through an un-elected attorney general, Linda Kelly, whom he appointed to do his bidding and who will be a lame duck five days from now," part of the statement said.
The grand jury presentment paints a markedly different - and damning - picture. The grand jury document details communications between Curley, Schultz and Spanier about reports of inappropriate contact between Sandusky and boys in 1998 and 2001 and actions or inactions of the three university administrators.
The report also highlights the difficulty investigators had in obtaining information from Penn State until after Spanier was fired. The report said almost immediately after Spanier's firing and the trustees' order to employees to cooperate with law enforcement, evidence and emails that had been subpoenaed more than a year earlier were received.
A search of athletic facilities also uncovered about 22 boxes of Sandusky documents, photos and notes. Those facilities had not been searched when Spanier was in charge.
Based on the grand jury presentment, copies of email between the administrators and information in the Louis Freeh report on the Sandusky case, the charges appear to be far from the "farce" and retaliation that Spanier's lawyers claim.
Instead, it seems like Spanier's defense is the one trying to divert attention and blame, rather than accept responsibility.
Like Curley and Schultz, Spanier is innocent until proven guilty. But if convicted on the charges, like Sandusky, they deserve time in prison and the loss of their state pensions.