Pennsylvania authorities believe the mother of many of the 12 girls allegedly rescued from the home of 51-year-old Lee Kaplan was living in the home herself – even as Kaplan allegedly sexually abused her daughter, Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler tells PEOPLE.
Savilla Stoltzfus and her husband, Daniel Stoltzfus, both face charges after authorities allege Daniel admitted that in exchange for financial support, he “gifted” his then 14-year-old daughter to Kaplan, who faces several sex crimes charges. Authorities allege Kaplan impregnated the girl, now 18 and the eldest of the girls in the home, and that she had two children by him: a six-month-old and a 3-year-old.
“[Savilla] was in the residence at the time the police arrived,” Heckler tells PEOPLE. “She was living there with her children and Kaplan and had been … for some period of time.”
The 12 girls allegedly living with Kaplan range in age from six months to 18-years-old. Aside from the two children of the eldest girl, authorities believe the remaining girls in the home were the sisters of the eldest girl and the daughters of Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus.
Daniel Stoltzfus is charged with conspiracy of statutory sexual assault and child endangerment; Savilla Stoltzfus is charged with endangering the welfare of a child.
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Heckler says one police officer believes he saw Savilla Stoltzfus at the home two years before, when police responded to a neighbor complaining about Kaplan allegedly burning garbage in his yard.
Heckler: Stoltzfus’s Became Business Partners with Kaplan After Being ‘Shunned’ From Amish Community
Heckler tells PEOPLE when officers visited Kaplan’s home two years ago, Kaplan told officers he was watching after the girls as a favor to his business associate.
Daniel Stoltzfus owned a metal fabrication business but lost his company and home in 2009 due to foreclosure, Heckler says. Daniel Stoltzfus and Kaplan met at an auction involving metal fabricating equipment, he says. According to Kaplan’s arrest affidavit, which was obtained by PEOPLE, Daniel Stoltzfus “gifted” his then 14-year-old daughter to Kaplan “in thanks for helping his family out of financial ruin.”
Heckler says Stoltzfus was Amish but that at the time of his relationship with Kaplan, he had been “shunned” by the Amish community.
Police are investigating whether Kaplan abused the other girls in the home.
“By supporting the financial one-way or another [of the family, Kaplan] got access to one 14 year old and a whole group of young [alleged] victims waiting,” Heckler tells PEOPLE.
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.