Emails Show Some at DHS Knew About Human Experiments at State Facility

Glenwood, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Human Services released emails Monday showing some of its administrators knew about human experiments being performed on intellectually disabled residents at Glenwood Resource Center.

The emails show DHS mental health and disability services administrator Rick Shults approved a software request in May of 2018 for studies on patients at the Glenwood Resource Center. The emails also show that another DHS administrator, Karalyn Kuhns, had knowledge of a software request from Glenwood Resource Center for a research project by its the superintendent, Jerry Rea.

The emails reveal that administrators were aware of the human experiments well before the U.S. Department of Justice launched an investigation of Glenwood last fall over allegations of the experiments.

Six former Glenwood Resource Center employees are suing the Department of Human Services (DHS), along with former DHS Director Jerry Foxhoven and Rea. The suit claims Rea and others tried to transform Glenwood from a patient care facility into a research center focused on medical experimentation, notably "sexual arousal research."

Glenwood houses roughly 200 intellectually and physically disabled people.

The lawsuit claims that public money was used to purchase items such as silk boxer shorts, sexual lubricants, pornographic images, and a dedicated computer for the research.

It says that sexual arousal experiments were performed on residents without their consent. The lawsuit also accuses Rea of silencing and punishing employees who tried to stop experiments on patients.

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