Six young girls aged from 9 to 19 said in court Thursday that they had sex with a 52-year-old man they thought to be their husband, reports the Daily News.
Pennsylvania couple Savilla and Daniel Stoltzfus “gifted” six of their daughters to Lee Donald Kaplan because he assisted them financially, investigators revealed in court. Kaplan sexually assaulted all six daughters, and had two children by the oldest daughter who is now 19.
One girl, now 15, said that she believed she was doing what husbands and wives do when Kaplan began a sexual relationship with her when she was 11 or 12. One of her sisters, a 9-year-old, said that Kaplan began molesting her at age 7. She said Kaplan warned her not to speak out about it.
“He told me not to tell anybody what he was doing.”
Investigators determined that the parents received financial assistance from Kaplan after they broke away from their Amish faith.
It was a tip from a neighbor that led authorities to Kaplan. While searching his home, authorities found the Stoltzfus parents living with him, along with their nine daughters and two grandchildren.
Savilla Stoltzfus said in court Wednesday that she was very aware of what was going on between Kaplan and her daughters, but she didn’t do anything about it because she did not see anything wrong with what was happening.
“I always trusted him that whatever goes on is a good thing.”
Savilla pleaded guilty last month to child endangerment charges. Her husband Daniel entered a no contest plea.
Kaplan is currently on trial for rape, sexual assault, and conspiracy, and he pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Deputy District Attorney Kate Kohler said Wednesday in her opening statement that the parents and the children had been “brainwashed” by Kaplan.
“All they knew was life with the defendant as their leader, their preacher, their husband. Six children became his victims. Six children became his sex toys.”
[Feature photo: Lower Southhampton Police Department]