Lee Kaplan, 51, had a house full of unidentified females including babies he made with some of the girls, held for statutory sexual assault with bail set at $1million
Cops rescue 12 girls, aged 6 monthe-18 years, found living in Pa. home with man
Homeowner, Lee Kaplan, 51, claims 18-year-old was ‘Gifted’ to him by her parents when she was 14
18 year old, mother of 2 girls, she had babies with Kaplan at age 14 and 17. Police yet to determine identity of other nine girls
Teen’s parents, Daniel Stoltzfus, 43, and Savilla Stoltzfus, 42, admit having “gifted” their daughter to Kaplan after researching legality on internet, because he “saved them from financial ruin”
Charged with statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault and other offenses
Daniel Stoltzfus charged with conspiracy to commit statutory sexual assault and children endangerment, wife Savilla Stoltzfus, charged with endangering the welfare of a child.
Children placed in protective custody. Kaplan, teen’s parents held, bail set at $1 million each.
Daniel Stoltzfus, gifted his 14 year old daughter to a 47 year old man for financial gains. His now charged with Child endangerment.
Authorities in suburban Philadelphia were trying to unravel the mysteries Sunday of a local man found living with 12 girls, one of whom was apparently a “gift” from her financially strapped parents.
Police have arrested Lee Kaplan, 51, after officials say that Kaplan fathered two children with an 18-year-old woman living in his home.
Officials say that at least 11 other females, ranging from 6-months-old to 18-years-old, were found in the home between Thursday night and Friday morning.
Kaplan, 51, was charged with statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault and other offenses after authorities, acting on a tip from a neighbor, found Kaplan at his Lower Southampton home with girls ranging in age from 6 months to 18 years. The 18-year-old told police she and Kaplan were the parents of a 3-year-old and the 6-month old.
“They were living in the basement, they were hiding in the chicken coop,” Robert Hoopes, Lower Southampton’s director of public safety, said of the girls. He added that the children apparently were home-schooled, that musical instruments and homework were found in the basement.
Authorities said there were no birth certificates for any of the females and cannot find any information about them. Furthermore, the children found in the home appear to Amish and none are enrolled in area schools.
Police with search dogs spent the weekend sifting through the property for clues. Authorities were trying to determine the identity of the other nine girls in the house, including the possibility that all the girls were related.
Savilla Stoltzfus gifted her 14 year old daughter to Kaplan
When contacted, the teen’s father, Daniel Stoltzfus, 43, told investigators he and his wife Savilla, 42, “gifted” their daughter to Kaplan about four years ago after researching the legality on the Internet. The couple told police they were broke and poised to lose their farm in rural Lancaster County when Kaplan “saved them from financial ruin.”
Daniel Stoltzfus faces charges of conspiracy to commit statutory sexual assault and children endangerment. His wife was charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Kaplan and the couple were being held Sunday on $1 million bail each.
The neighbors told reporters that they complained about the home three years ago, after suspicions about things not seeming to be right.
A spokesperson for the local police dismissed claims from neighbors that they had been complaining about the living situation in the home for years.
“What kind of call did they (make)?” Hoopes asked. “That they saw Amish people? That’s the kind of calls we got. We didn’t get any child abuse calls. If it was a child abuse call we would have responded.”
Adding that the police had responded to a call regarding the house at least once in the past, but no probable cause for a search warrant was found.
“We believe that they’re originally from Lancaster County in the Amish community,” said Lower Southampton Township Police Lt. Ted Krimmel. “Right now we’re working on getting an expert on Amish culture to help us conduct interviews on the rest of these children.
The police have sealed off Kaplan’s home as a crime scene
The children did not appear malnourished and the house was in relatively good condition, he said. The house had a greenhouse, and food was being grown. The chickens were taken by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Kaplan apparently made money selling model train equipment and had an “elaborate setup” worth thousands of dollars, Hoopes said.
Neighbor, Jen Betz told the Associated Press she called authorities because she was concerned about young girls living in the house with boarded windows and high weeds.
“They’re so sad and fearful every time I see them,” Betz said. “That’s what made me call. I’ve been telling my husband for years, ‘Something isn’t right, something isn’t right.’”