Trial to Begin for Man Who Claims He Was 'Gifted' Underage Girls By Her Parents
Lee Kaplan allegedly groomed a girl and her sisters to believe God wanted them to be his wives.
The trial of a Pennsylvania man who is accused of living with nine underage girls whose parents allegedly "gifted" them to him is slated to begin Wednesday.
Lee Kaplan is accused of fathering two children with a 14-year-old girl, according to the Bucks County District Attorney's Office.
The 51-year-old was allegedly found living with the girl, their two children, and her eight sisters nearly a year ago in a case that made national headlines after the girls' parents reportedly told investigators they had given their girls to Kaplan.
Prosecutors contend that Kaplan befriended the then-Amish family in Lancaster County, supported them financially and steered them away from the Amish way of life.
In return, it is alleged Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus "gifted" Kaplan some of their nine daughters, who went to live with him in the house where sexual assaults allegedly occurred.
In response to questions from Deputy District Attorney Kate Kohler, 44-year-old Daniel Stoltzfus testified that he also gave his wife, Savilla, to Kaplan.
Kaplan allegedly took Savilla Stoltzfus, 43, as his wife in hopes of "strengthening" the Stoltzfus bloodlines.
Kaplan also is accused of taking the Stoltzfuses' eldest daughter, 14 at the time, as his wife. He allegedly raped her repeatedly over the next few years, during which she gave birth to two children.
Daniel Stoltzfus has pleaded no contest to charges of child endangerment while Savilla Stoltzfus has pleaded guilty to those same charges.
In entering those pleas, the Stoltzfuses acknowledged that they knew Kaplan was having sex with their eldest daughter while she was still a minor.
In all, 11 Stoltzfus or Kaplan offspring, all female, were living in the Kaplan home with Kaplan and Savilla Stoltzfus when police and child welfare workers arrived last summer.
Kaplan's charges involving six alleged victims include rape of a child, statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and indecent assault.
The girls ranged in age from 6 to 14 when the alleged assaults began.
Kaplan's attorney, Ryan Hyde, maintains the mother of his children is his wife and that he didn't touch the others. Hyde says his client is innocent of the charges against him.
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