Chardo noted that the investigation began with a report by one of J.T.'s cousins to the Harrisburg diocese that he recalled Rhoades "had travelled with J.T. to Puerto Rico twice and South America once when J.T. was 13 or 14 years old. The cousin did not witness any sexual or unlawful acts and did not receive information relating any such acts from any source. The cousin merely thought the conduct he remembered was odd and so he felt compelled to report it. The Diocese promptly forwarded the report to the Dauphin County District Attorney."
The district attorney noted that when he was re-interviewed, "the cousin indicated that he was not certain of the timeframe but he was sure that the contacts between J.T. and Father Rhoades occurred after 1986, based upon a milestone in his own life. He conceded that it may very well have been when J.T. was in his late teens or early twenties."
"Based upon the records relating to Bishop Rhoades' assignments and the interviews of Bishop Rhoades and J.T.'s mother, we have determined that Bishop Rhoades first came in contact with J.T. at the request of his mother while J.T. was an adult inmate of the Dauphin County Prison. This contact was in the context of religious outreach to an inmate to provide spiritual guidance."
Chardo also determined that the trip to Puerto Rico "occurred when J.T. was an adult" and that "this was the only time that Bishop Rhoades travelled with J.T."
"The report relating to multiple trips was the result of an honest, mistaken recollection and the passage of nearly three decades. All of Bishop Rhoades' contact with J.T. was in the context of pastoral care and arose out of the recognized tradition of prison ministry."
Chardo noted that J.T.'s name was not disclosed "because the report by a member his family was made confidentially and without the expectation that it would be publicly aired."
He added that "no witness has alleged observing any criminal or improper conduct by Bishop Rhoades with respect to J.T., and that "Bishop Rhoades and the family of J.T. fully cooperated in the investigation."
The Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese noted its appreciation of "the swift and thorough investigation into the unsubstantiated allegation against Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades. As anticipated, the investigation exonerated Bishop Rhoades."
The diocese said it "stands firm in sympathy and support for all victims of child sexual abuse and encourages victims to report allegations."
Bishop Rhoades commented, "I have offered up the pain of this difficult time for the victim survivors of child sexual abuse."