The Pennsylvania parents who gave their daughters to a sexual predator they looked to as a spiritual savior were sentenced to up to seven years in prison, officials said.
Daniel Stoltzfus, 44, and Savilla Stoltzfus, 43, "gifted" six of their underage daughters to Lee Kaplan, 52, in exchange for financial support, according to the Bucks County District Attorney.
Daniel Stoltzfus pleaded no contest in April to one count of endangering the welfare of a child.
He was sentenced by Judge Jeffrey Finley to serve three-and-a-half to seven years in prison.
“It would be higher, if I had the authority to do so,” Finley said of the sentence.
Savilla Stoltzfus, who pleaded guilty to the same charge, was sentenced to three to seven years in prison.
Finley said he gave her a slightly lesser minimum sentence because she cooperated with prosecutors.
Calling their actions “unacceptable in any civilized community,” Finley said the couple gave their daughters over for what some “might call a life of sex slaves.”
The victims’ parents, former members of the Amish community, acknowledged that they ultimately allowed all of their 11 daughters to move into Kaplan’s Lower Southampton Township home, prosecutors 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. He also sexually assaulted a sixth Stoltzfus girl.
The assaults began when the girls, now between the ages of nine and 19, were as young as six, authorities said.
The victims reluctantly testified at Kaplan’s trial that he began sexually assaulting them when they were children, but each said they considered themselves to be one of his “wives” and they still loved him, prosecutors said.
Savilla Stoltzfus 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.
“Your conduct is unimaginable; it is unacceptable,” Finley told Daniel Stoltzfus, who lived in Lancaster County while his wife and daughters moved in with Kaplan. “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.”
Prosecutors said Kaplan befriended and financially supported the Stoltzfus family when they left the Amish faith about two decades ago.
Kaplan in June was convicted of 17 felony sex crimes including child rape, statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and indecent assault.
He will be sentenced on Sept. 20.
The Stoltzfus daughters are in the care of Bucks County Children and Youth Social Services Agency, authorities said.
Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus will be required to undergo extensive mental health exams and treatment as well as parenting instruction and family counseling before they will be allowed to spend time with their children following their release, Finley said.
"I understand their heartbreak at seeing their mother and their father in shackles and prison garb," he told Savilla Stoltzfus. "You made that decision."