Self-proclaimed prophet Lee Kaplan took 11 young girls as his wives after at least some of the children were “gifted” to him by their own mother and father. Kaplan, 52, of Bucks County, Pennsylvania was arrested after child welfare workers discovered the unhealthy and filthy girls inside his Feasterville area home.
Lee Kaplan was arrested last June and is currently on trial for a host of rape, child abuse, and child sexual assault charges. The mother of the girls, Savilla Stoltzfus, told Bucks County law enforcement officers she knew Kaplan was having sex with her daughters but believed the intimate contact was prompted by the so-called prophet’s dreams which were direct communications from God.
A total of 11 girls were removed from the home where Lee Kaplan lived in Pennsylvania. Two of the girls taken by child welfare agents were fathered by the accused pedophile and the daughter of Stoltzfus. The testimony phase in the Bucks County trial just drew to a close on Friday after the girls detailed what life was like for them inside what has been dubbed as a “house of horrors” on social media.
Many of the 11 girls had contracted Lyme Disease, had to have numerous teeth removed, and were never taught basic hygiene skills. The girls, who had allegedly been sexually abused for many years, had to be taught how to wash their hair after being taken into state custody.
Lee Kaplan is accused of sexually assaulting six girls in the same family https://t.co/1KCMMLOD09
— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) June 2, 2017
Savilla Stoltzfus also reportedly told Bucks County law enforcement investigators she thought the sexual contact between her daughters and Kaplan, “could be a good thing.”
The girls were kept in almost complete isolation from the outside world. After being placed in foster care, the children were given Social Security numbers, issued birth certificates, and have been enrolled in an online school.
One of the girls used the internet to discover the meaning of “birthday celebration.”
“The round cake, the candles… it comes straight out of witchcraft,” the girl said after reading what comprised a common birthday party.
Bucks County Children and Youth staffer Stacy Roach told the court the 11 girls were taken to a doctor for the first time in their lives after being removed from the Kaplan home, Philly.com reports. Roach also said the amount of dental work the girls needed was obvious and likely stemmed from not having brushed their teeth while being held by Lee Kaplan.
The parents of the six girls may have gifted them to Lee Kaplan because of financial assistance he had given to the parents. The girls lived in the Feasterville home for at least five years.
Feasterville police officers discovered the 11 girls when responding to a complaint about the number of children inside the home and concerns over their health and safety. Lee Kaplan allegedly confessed to being the father of the two youngest children inside the home, CBS Philly reports. The 3-year-old toddler and a 10-month-old baby were the children of an 18-year-old teenager also found inside the home.
The three girls not the daughters or grandchildren of Savilla Stoltzfus and Daniel Stoltzfus that were also found inside the home were daughters from a couple from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania who had left an Amish community.
Prosecutors argued Lee Kaplan had “brainwashed” Stoltzfus and her family into believing he was a prophet solely for the purpose of garnering “power, manipulation, and control.”
“All they knew was life with the defendant as their leader, their preacher, their husband,” Deputy District Attorney Kate Kohler told the court when describing the belief system of the girls held captive inside the Kaplan home. “Six children became his victims. Six children became his sex toys.”
Court told Lee Kaplan kept the girls in almost complete isolation, persuaded them to call him ‘Lave’ – meaning ‘… https://t.co/7MptWxikU5
— Thus Spake (@thus_spake) June 3, 2017
Lee Kaplan’s defense attorney, Ryan Hyde, claimed his client was married to the oldest daughter and in the eyes of the family, the rest of the girls loved him. Hyde maintained Kaplan did sexually abuse the minor girls inside the home.
“He was advancing their lives. He was running them out of the darkness that was their lives beforehand,” Hyde told the court, claiming his fiscal generosity was taken advantage of by Savilla and Daniel Stoltzfus.
Lee Kaplan allegedly told the girls to call him “Lave” which means lord, the Independent reports.
Both Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus have pleaded no contest to third-degree felony endangerment of the welfare of a child and will be sentenced after the completion of Lee Kaplan’s trial.
[Featured Image by Megan Trimble/AP Images]