Trial begins for man accused of abusing ‘gifted’ girl

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (WHTM) – Jury selection has begun for the trial of a Pennsylvania man accused of sexually assaulting six girls in the same family.

Lee Donald Kaplan, 52, is accused of fathering two children with one of the girls who had been “gifted” to him when she was 14 years old.

The girl’s mother, 43-year-old Savilla Stoltzfus of Quarryville, pleaded guilty last month to a third-degree felony count of endangering the welfare of a child. The father, 44-year-old Daniel Stoltzfus, pleaded no contest to the same charge.

Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus (submitted)

Kaplan was arrested in June 2016 after police and child services workers found the girl, then 18, living with Kaplan and her mother, her two children, and her eight younger sisters.

Daniel Stoltzfus told police they gave the girl to Kaplan because he helped them out of “financial ruin.”

Kaplan was charged with additional crimes in October when prosecutors accused him of sexually assaulting five other girls in the home.

A 17-year-old girl told investigators she moved into Kaplan’s home in 2012 and their marriage was “consummated” when she was 14. Authorities said Kaplan began sexually abusing the other girls when they were 11, 10, 8, and 6 years old.

Prosecutors say Kaplan befriended the family in Lancaster County and steered them away from the Amish way of life. In return for his financial help, they said he was “gifted” some of the couple’s daughters, called the girls his wives, and groomed them to believe he was a “religious, cult-like figure.”

Daniel Stoltzfus also gave his wife to Kaplan in hopes that they would have children and “strengthen” the Stoltzfus bloodlines, prosecutors said.

Kaplan maintains the mother of his children is his wife and he didn’t touch the others.

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