The Department of Justice is investigating disturbing allegations of abuse and human experimentation at an Iowa facility for people with disabilities. Officials say that patients at the Glenwood Resource Center were used as human guinea pigs and were forced to participate in "harmful and uncontrolled human subject experiments," including "sexual arousal studies."
"The DOJ investigation of Glenwood Resource Center related to ‘human subject experiments’ is focused on ‘optimal hydration’ under the ‘Perfect Care Index,’ and ‘sexual arousal studies.’ While we are still gathering the facts, we will investigate and address every allegation," Matt Highland, a spokesman at the Iowa Department of Human Service said in a statement.
There are around 250 people living at the Glenwood Resource Center. They have intellectual disabilities, and many of the residents are unable to talk, walk, or feed themselves.
Jerry Rea, the superintendent at Glenwood, was placed on leave amid the investigation, but officials have not provided details about what role he had in running the experiments.
In the past eight weeks, three patients died at the facility. It is unclear if their deaths were related to the alleged experiments. According to the Des Moines Register, there have been 14 deaths at the facility between June 2018 and April 2019, which is more the double the usual rate.
Officials in Iowa have also launched their own investigation into the facility.