GLENWOOD, Iowa -- Newly released documents are shedding light on the investigation into Glenwood Resource Center and what people inside the Iowa Department of Human Services knew about alleged experiments being performed there.
Those documents show people within DHS were aware of human experiments being performed on intellectually disabled residents at Glenwood Resource Center as early as May of 2018.
In an email, Rick Shults and Karalyn Kuhns, both DHS administrators with mental health and disability services, acknowledged a software request from Glenwood Resource Center for the research project Jerry Rea was engaged in with the University of Kansas.
The emails show Shults, who recently retired from DHS, knew about the experiments and signed off on items needed to conduct them.
“Attached is the software request from GRC for the research project Jerry [Rea] is engaged in with KU. This will be put on a stand alone computer and will not be running on the DHS system,” the email says.
Rea is the former superintendent at Glenwood Resource Center who previously conducted sexual arousal experiments at the University of Kansas.
The email goes on to say, “The project has implications for treatment of sexual preoccupation issues in the CCUSO (civil commitment unit for sex offenders) and problematic behaviors in GRC individuals.”
The University of Kansas has denied having any involvement in Rea's research after he left Kansas to take over the role of superintendent at Glenwood Resource Center.
Former DHS Director Jerry Foxhoven has also denied knowing about the experiments.
The Department of Justice launched an investigation into Glenwood Resource Center last November following whistleblower complaints about the treatment of patients there.
According to DHS documents obtained by Channel 13, four legislators met with Foxhoven on Feb. 13, 2019 to discuss whistleblower complaints. Among the topics discussed: The number of individuals served by Glenwood that had passed away, the alleged falsification of records and alleged human experiments.
Several former Glenwood Resource Center employees, including doctors and nurses, have filed a lawsuit against DHS, Foxhoven, Rea and other Glenwood and state officials.
This lawsuit details how Rea allegedly set up these experiments and conspired with others to silence, punish and retaliate against employees for expressing their concerns about what was being conducted at Glenwood Resource Center.
The lawsuit claims the defendants sought to transform Glenwood Resource Center from a facility focused on patient care into a research facility to further Rea's interest in research involving sexual arousal.