Police arrested a 51-year-old man, Lee Kaplan at his home in Feasterville, Pennsylvania for child sex assault charges after they found 12 girls living in his home. Including a six-month-old he fathered with a 14 -year-old and a three-year-old child with the oldest girl, who is 18 years old.
Police visited the home on June 16 after receiving a complaint about the health and safety of numerous children in the home. According to a probable cause affidavit filed by the Lower Southampton Township Police Department, a resident at the home told neighbors that no children lived there.
However, when police responded to the complaint they discovered the 12 girls. Police allege Kaplan admitted to having sex with the teenager when she was 14 and fathering the three-year-old as well as the six-month-old. The 18-year-old told police that she was the mother of two of the children and added that she was not married to Kaplan.
CBS Philly reports that police believe all the children are originally from an Amish community in Lancaster County. Police say they are working to find an expert in Amish culture to help them conduct interviews with the children. Police say the 18-year-old was living with Kaplan after some kind of business agreement with the girl’s parents.
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There are reports that the former Amish couple “gifted” the 18-year-old girl to Kaplan because they were facing “financial ruin” when they left the Amish community.
The girl’s parents: Daniel, 43, and Savilla Stoltzfus, 42, said 9 of the other children in the home were theirs and that they believed the trade was legal because of something they read on the internet, police said. They and their nine other daughters moved in with Kaplan at a later date
The girl’s parents have reportedly been arrested as well.
Jen Bets, the neighbor who made the call to child services, told NBC Philadelphia that there were ‘signs’ that something was not right in the house.
‘She was too young to be the wife, too old to be holding his hand,’.
She said she had seen Kaplan walking down the street with girls, sometimes holding hands with one of them.
‘I just want them to get help and get back and be happy,’ she said. ‘They’re so sad and fearful every time I see them. That’s what made me call.’
All of the children have been removed from the home and are in the custody of child protective services.
Kaplan has been charged with statutory sex assault, indecent assault of a person under 16, corruption of minors and unlawful contact with a minor.
All 3 of them are being held on $1million bail, and all three will have a preliminary hearing on August 2.
Source: CBS Philly