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Pa. Mom Who ‘Gifted’ Daughters to Their Alleged Rapist Says She Thought They ‘Loved’ Him

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The Pennsylvania mother found living with her nine daughters in the home of a self-proclaimed prophet who allegedly had sex with some of the girls testified that she had her daughters’ best interests in mind, her attorney confirms to PEOPLE.

Savilla Stoltzfus, 43, who pleaded guilty along with her husband to “gifting” some of their daughters to 52-year-old Lee Kaplan, testified at Kaplan’s trial on Wednesday that she and her daughters wanted to be with him, her attorney, Craig Penglase, tells PEOPLE.

On Thursday, six of her daughters testified, including a 15-year-old girl who said she was 7 when she first had sex with Kaplan, Penglase says.

Kaplan allegedly brainwashed the Stoltzfus parents into believing he was a prophet and had sex with their daughters. He has pleaded not guilty to more than a dozen sex crime charges, including rape of a child, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and indecent assault.

In April, Savilla pleaded guilty to one count of endangering the welfare of children, a third-degree felony. Her 44-year-old husband, Daniel Stoltzfus, pleaded no contest to the same charge.

During hear nearly two-hour testimony on Wednesday, Savilla, who was found living with her daughters and Kaplan in his Feasterville home in June of 2016, said she and six of her daughters dreamt of becoming Kaplan’s wives, Penglase says.

The court heard how when the family first met Kaplan, they were having financial woes. Savilla testified that when the family fell on hard times, they had to move around and at one point lived at a local campground. Kaplan allegedly offered his home to the oldest girls, which the couple thought was a good idea, according to Penglase.

“I observed that [my daughter] was very well and loved Mr. Kaplan,” Stoltzfus stated in court, Lancaster Online reports. “I then accepted it as the way it is.”

However, Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub previously told PEOPLE during that time Kaplan allegedly brainwashed the girls by taking advantage of their innocence and abusing his position of authority.

“Over time he played on their trust and affection for him,” Weintraub said. “He groomed them to believed that he was a religious, cult-like figure for whom they should submit their will.”

Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus
Lower Southampton Police Department (2)

The Stoltzfus children were raised Amish, born with no birth certificates and home-schooled together, officials say, but the Stoltzfus family left the Amish community after they met Kaplan, a former business partner of Daniel’s.

On Wednesday, the eldest daughter, now 19, testified that she allegedly had sexual contact with Kaplan when she was 10, and had intercourse two years later before getting pregnant while she was living with him, Lancaster Online reports.

Savilla testified that after her daughter gave birth, she moved in with Kaplan and her other daughters and began having sex with him. In letters sent to her husband, Savilla expressed jealousy of the attention her daughters were receiving from Kaplan, the Lancaster Online reports.

WATCH: Story Behind the Story: Pennsylvania House of Horrors – Man Allegedly Held 12 Girls Captive

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter. 

Penglase previously told PEOPLE his client and her family were taken advantage of by Kaplan, who, Penglase alleged, never wanted to help them and just used them for sex.

Savilla, a mother of 14, testified that her and her six oldest daughters considered themselves to be Kaplan’s wives and had dreams about Kaplan, which they took as a message from God, Penglase says.

“Kaplan convinced Savilla that he was God and that this was God’s will,” Penglase said. “She didn’t believe it was her place to stop it. She didn’t believe she had a voice to be heard.”

Savilla and her husband could receive sentences of up to seven years in prison and a fine of $15,000. Sentencing will take place at the end of Kaplan’s trial.

Ryan Hyde, Kaplan’s attorney, previously told PEOPLE Kaplan “argues that yes, he impregnated his wife, but the other allegations” are false. He remains incarcerated in Bucks County for the duration of his trial.