12 Girls Allegedly Rescued from Pennsylvania Home Were Related and 9 Were Sisters, Authorities Believe
Police allegedly rescued the girls, who ranged from six months to 18 years old
Authorities believe each of the 12 girls allegedly rescued from the Pennsylvania home of 51-year-old Lee Kaplan, who is charged with a series of sex crimes, were related and that nine of them were sisters, Buck County District Attorney David Heckler tells PEOPLE.
The girls ranged in age from six months to 18 years old. The oldest of the girls was allegedly the mother of the 6-month-old and a 3-year-old. Authorities believe the remaining nine girls in the house were all sisters of the 18-year-old, Heckler tells PEOPLE.
Police have charged the girl’s father, Daniel Stoltzfus, with conspiracy of statutory sexual assault and child endangerment. His wife, Savilla Stoltzfus, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child.
“Based on the facts that we have so far, [Stoltzfus] presented … an opportunity for this pedophile,” Heckler tells PEOPLE. “[Kaplan] got access to one 14-year-old and a whole group of young victims in waiting.”
According to Kaplan’s arrest affidavit, which was obtained by PEOPLE, Daniel Stoltzfus told authorities he “gifted” their then-14-year-old daughter to Kaplan after he helped their family out of “financial ruin.”
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A neighbor of Kaplan’s told PEOPLE she was suspicious of the 51-year-old since October when she saw the girls playing outside on the lawn.
“It stuck out because the girls were all very young and one of them was very pregnant, even though she looked like she was only 13-years-old,” neighbor Denise Horst said. “Plus, it isn’t often that we have Amish people living in this area, so to see girls in Amish garb in our neighborhood seemed very out of place.”
Heckler tells PEOPLE that one time, after neighbors called police complaining about Kaplan burning his garbage outside, Kaplan told officers he was watching the girls for a business associate.
“[Kaplan said] that [the girls’ parents] were redecorating their house or doing something with their house and he was taking them in for the time being because they didn t have another place to stay,” Heckler recounts.
Kaplan and both parents are being held on $1 million bail. They will all appear in court for hearings scheduled for June 28, where they will enter pleas.