'Corrupt, Perverted, Atrocious': Pa. Man Who Took Girls for 'Wives' Sentenced to 30 to 87 Years in Prison
Prosecutors said Lee Kaplan was a self-proclaimed prophet who “brainwashed” the Stoltzfus family
Lee Kaplan, the man convicted of multiple sex crimes who was found living with 11 girls and teenagers, six of whom he called his wives, was sentenced to 30 to 87 years in prison on Wednesday, according to multiple reports.
During the hearing, a Bucks County, Pennsylvania, judge told Kaplan his behavior was “corrupt, perverted, atrocious,” according to local media reports.
In June, Kaplan was found guilty on 17 counts, including rape of a child, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and indecent assault, by a Bucks County jury after nearly nine hours of deliberation following a nearly week-long trial.
He had pleaded not guilty to his charges after he was found in June 2016 living with the girls in his home in Feasterville, Pennsylvania. The girls and teens ranged in age from 3 months to 18 years old.
Nine of the females were sisters, while the other two were Kaplan’s children with the eldest of the nine sisters.
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The sisters’ parents, Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus, admitted that years before, they had “gifted” the eldest girl, then 14, to Kaplan to be his wife. She and Kaplan have two children together: a 1-year-old and a 4-year-old.
Daniel Stoltzfus was sentenced to three-and-a-half to seven years in state prison for conspiracy of statutory sexual assault and child endangerment, to which he had pleaded no contest. Savilla, who pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child, was sentenced to three to seven years in prison.
Savilla, a mother of 12 (including three sons), testified that despite knowing Kaplan was having sex with her daughters, she and Daniel thought they were doing what was best for the girls.
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Savilla said that she 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.
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Prosecutors said Kaplan is a self-proclaimed prophet who “brainwashed” the Stoltzfus family. Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub previously told PEOPLE that Kaplan used the family as “a virtual feeding ground of victims.”
During Kaplan’s trial, Savilla and six of her daughters testified in court. Among those who spoke out was a 15-year-old girl who said she was 7 when she first had sex with Kaplan.
Kaplan’s attorney, Ryan Hyde, could not be reached for comment on Wednesday. The girls remain in an undisclosed location.