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Awful Allegations Surface at Facility for Disabled

Iowa official is fired amid investigation into human experiments
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2019 12:21 PM CST

(Newser) – The superintendent of a state facility in Iowa that treats people with severe intellectual disabilities has been fired amid startling allegations involving residents, reports the Des Moines Register. The most alarming of the allegations involves possible experiments with human subjects. The state dismissed Jerry Rea from the Glenwood Resource Center while citing a "mounting list of disregard for policies and procedures." Federal and state investigations are underway, and the feds in particular are looking into whether residents, many of whom have a dual diagnosis of mental illness, were subjects of a "Sexual Arousal Study."

Both the Register and KCCI note that Rea obtained a patent years ago for a device designed to measure sexual arousal, though investigators have not said whether it was used in any study at Glenwood. The Department of Justice says the arousal study might involve "identifying antecedents, triggers, or causes of sexual arousal, measuring state of sexual arousal, or suppressing sexual arousal." Investigators also are looking into whether Glenwood patients were subject to something called "Optimal Hydration Projects," which might involve pneumonia treatment, and, more generally, to "incidents causing needless physical injury." Rea, who had been on administrative leave before his firing, has not commented on the allegations. (Read more Iowa stories.)

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