Nov 1, 2016

Prosecutors: Pennsylvania man used ‘cult-like’ status to sexually abuse girls as young as six


NOVEMBER 1, 2016
BY FOX59

LOWER SOUTHAMPTON TWP., Pa. – A Pennsylvania man who was “gifted” a girl from a Lancaster County couple has been charged with raping and abusing her five sisters.

Bucks County prosecutors charged Lee Kaplan, 51, Feasterville, Pa., with 15 counts of sexual assault. He was arrested in June after investigators discovered he fathered two children to a girl who’d been given to him to settle a debt.

The parents, Daniel and Savilla Stolzfus, face child endangerment charges. Prosecutors said the former Amish couple would not face additional charges in the case, WPMT reported.

District Attorney Matt Weintraub described Kaplan as a “cult-like figure” who treated the girls like wives and forced them to submit to his will. They were found in his basement in June; the girls ranged in age from 6 to 17 years old during the time of the abuse, investigators said.

The oldest daughter had a pair of children with Kaplan, prosecutors said. She was abused from the age of 10 until she turned 18. Abuse of the second-oldest sister began when she was 14, prosecutors said. Kaplan is accused of raping two of her sisters when they were between the ages of 10 and 15 years old. The abuse of one sister started when she was 6; an 8-year-old accused Kaplan of having sex with her.

"The fact we now have six victims, it's just sickening," Weintraub said. "It's terribly tragic for these young women. Their lives will never be the same. But our job, unfortunately, is to clean up the mess, and that means prosecuting this man to the fullest extent of the law which we're ready to do."

Weintraub said Kaplan “did whatever he wanted” to the girls. Investigators said the girls initially denied they’d been abused but slowly gained their trust to find out the truth.

"In this instance, it took a lot of hard work without pressing (the girls) until they finally were able to trust us and do one of the bravest things any of us has ever done," Weintraub added

Police found five additional children at the home, but they’re involved in the sex abuse allegations. Two of them are children he fathered with the oldest of the sisters.

http://fox59.com/2016/11/01/prosecutors-pennsylvania-man-used-cult-like-status-to-sexually-abuse-girls-as-young-as-six/

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