In a press release this morning Dauphin County District Attorney Fran Chardo cleared Kevin C. Rhoades of all outstanding allegations regarding potential sexual abuse while in his former position as bishop of the Roman Catholic Church’s Harrisburg Diocese.
This has been a case of a public airing of mere speculation of impropriety with no foundation. 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.
We encourage reports of any suspicion of the abuse of a child to law enforcement and ChildLine (1-800-932-0313). But once reports are made to proper authorities, they should be fully investigated without public speculation about guilt. Where appropriate, we will bring charges. Here, we found no evidence of wrongdoing. We now regard this case as closed.
Allegations had been reported by the Lebanon Daily News and other publications at the end of the summer.
Rhoades grew up in Lebanon and graduated from Lebanon Catholic in 1975.