Rhode Island State Police are investigating the apparent abuse of three patients with profound disabilities at the state-run Eleanor Slater Hospital.
The Providence Journal reports the investigation began in June, after an examination at Rhode Island Hospital determined that a 37-year-old male patient had had an object inserted into his rectum. The examining doctor suspected sexual abuse.
The patient suffers from cerebral palsy, and is dependent on the staff. All three patients are unable to speak.
State health officials determined that Slater did not report the apparent abuse to the state Department of Health, as required by law.
State Police Col. Steven O'Donnell confirmed the investigation but said no charges have been brought.
Gov. Gina Raimondo said in a statement that the reported abuse is "extremely concerning," and her office is investigating.