DES MOINES — Newly released documents indicate a recently retired top official overseeing Iowa’s mental health and disability services programs knew of plans to perform sexual experiments at a state-run institution as far back as nearly two years ago.

 The Iowa Department of Human Services has released letters, emails, and other documents about Glenwood Resource Center indicating increasing concerns of staff members about sexual arousal experiments on patients.

An email written to Rick Shults on May 21, 2018, shows he approved of a research plan drawn up by Jerry Rea, the former superintendent at Glenwood who was fired in December.

 It detailed experiments on patients at Glenwood and a separate state facility that holds sexual offenders.