Rev. Kevin Rhoades, Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne/South Bend, has been cleared of allegations of misconduct with a now-deceased young man while serving in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. A family member who thought the conduct he remembered was “odd” filed the complaint with the Diocese of Harrisburg.
Dauphin County District Attorney, Fran Chardo, issued a press release today indicating that after “a full investigation,” no basis was found to conclude that Rhoades ever engaged in “a criminal or otherwise improper relationship” with a young man identified by investigators as “J.T.” Rhoades first came in contact with him at the request of his mother, while he was incarcerated at Dauphin County Prison and the mother hoped that the priest could provide some spiritual guidance for her son.
Citing his belief that the original report “was the result of an honest, mistaken recollection,” Chardo was also very critical of the information being “leaked” to the public while the case was under investigation. The District Attorney commented: “In this case, the leaking of what turned out to be an unfounded report did unnecessary harm. This has done a disservice to actual victims of sexual abuse. It has also caused significant and unnecessary harm to Bishop Rhoades.”