DETROIT — The ex-wife of a Michigan man who is charged with selling infected body parts for research says the couple lied about the diseased parts because they didn’t want to lose business.

Elizabeth Rathburn testified Wednesday on the third day of trial for Arthur Rathburn. He’s charged with covering up the fact that the body parts had tested positive for hepatitis B and HIV. They were used for medical training.

There were no reports of illness. Elizabeth Rathburn, who pleaded guilty to fraud, told jurors that Arthur Rathburn assured her that he could make viruses inactive through embalming.

Stephen Gore, owner of Arizona-based Biological Resource Center, says Arthur Rathburn ordered cheaper infected body parts from him so he could make more money.

Arthur Rathburn’s lawyer says the case should have been treated as a contract dispute, not a crime.

The Rathburns split up after they were charged.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.