Sex Predator Sentenced for Assault, Rape of Ex-Amish Couple's Daughters Who Thought He Was a Prophet

A sexually violent predator that a Pennsylvania couple considered a spiritual savior, who in turn had relationships with six of their underage daughters, has been sentenced to up to 87 years in prison, officials said.

Lee Kaplan, 52, was convicted of multiple counts of child rape, statutory sexual assault and other charges that stemmed from crimes committed while he had financial and spiritual authority over Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus and their family, prosecutors said.

Kaplan befriended the couple as they were leaving the Amish community nearly two decades ago.

He supported them financially and convinced them that he was a divine prophet who spoke with God, prosecutors said.

The pair “gifted” six of their underage daughters to Kaplan, ultimately allowing 11 of their girls to move into his Lower Southampton Township home, authorities said.

There, Kaplan repeatedly had vaginal and anal intercourse with five of the Stoltzfus' daughters, fathering two children by one of the girls, officials said.

She was 14 the first time she became pregnant.

Kaplan also sexually assaulted a sixth Stoltzfus girl.

Read: Formerly Amish Parents Who Gave Daughters to Sex Predator Sentenced to Up to 7 Years in Prison

The abuse took place over the course of at least six years and began when the girls, now between the ages of nine and 19, were as young as six, authorities said.

“You were engaged in an illicit sexual act... with one of these children almost on a daily basis for four, five, six years,” Bucks County Judge Jeffrey Finley told Kaplan on Wednesday, according to a news release from the district attorney's office. 

Finley told Kaplan he had used his intellect “to warp these children’s minds to think that was natural and appropriate conduct. It’s pretty hard to accept.”

“Corrupted, perverted, atrocious. Use what adjective you would like to use," Finley told Kaplan.

Finley added that the court classified him as a sexually violent predator.

Noting that there were six individual victims, Deputy District Attorney Kate Kohler, who prosecuted the case, asked Finley to impose a separate, consecutive sentence for each one.

And the judge did so, stringing together an array of sentences ranging from seven to 20 years for rape of a child to one to two years for indecent assault.

Kaplan was ultimately sentenced to serve 30 to 87 years in state prison.

Kaplan said little during his hearing Wednesday, reportedly telling the judge to “do what you think is right.”

“I’m not sure what I can say to you,” Kaplan told Finley. “I honestly believe it wouldn’t matter what I said, or how true it is.”

Kaplan’s attorney told the AP after the hearing that his client has maintained he didn’t have sexual relationships the underage girls.

However, the victims reluctantly testified at Kaplan’s trial that he began sexually assaulting them when they were children.

Each said they considered themselves to be one of his “wives” and they still loved him, prosecutors said.

Read: Couple Allegedly Carried Out Rape-Murder Fantasy on Woman's Teen Daughter

Savilla Stoltzfus had also moved into Kaplan’s home and testified that she too became one of Kaplan’s “wives,” having a sexual relationship with him while regarding her daughters as rivals for his affections.

“You allowed your daughters to continue to crawl into the bed of that man, knowing what was going on," Finley told Savilla Stoltzfus at her sentencing hearing in July.

She and Daniel Stoltzfus were each sentenced to up to seven years in prison on child endangerment charges.

During the time of the abuse, Daniel Stoltzfus remained in Lancaster County with his sons and one daughter, prosecutors said.

"Your conduct is unimaginable; it is unacceptable,” Finley told Daniel Stoltzfus in July. “He fathered a child with your 14-year-old daughter, and yet he remained living with your children... There is harm to these children that we can't begin to imagine.”

The children continue to remain together in the custody of the Bucks County Children and Youth Social Services Agency, Kohler said.

“Today couldn’t have come any sooner,” Kohler said after Kaplan’s sentencing. “I am very happy that he will be spending the next 30 to 87 years behind bars. It’s exactly where he belongs.”

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