What to Know
- Lee Kaplan was found guilty in June on 17 counts of child rape and related offenses. The 52-year-old must serve at least 30 years in prison.
- Kaplan's first victim was gifted to him when she was 14.
- Her parents, who came from an Amish community, said they made the deal to alleviate money woes. They are also in prison.
A Bucks County man was sentenced to 30 to 87 years in state prison Wednesday on multiple counts of child rape and related charges for years of housing and sleeping with underage Amish sisters.
Lee Kaplan, 52, of Feasterville, was convicted in June on 17 counts. Last year, police found nine daughters of Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus inside Kaplan's small house. Savilla Stoltzfus was also living with Kaplan and the girls.
Two other young girls were also in the house. They were fathered by Kaplan, a Cheltenham native, with the oldest of the Stoltzfus daughters. She was 14 when her parents "gifted" the daughters to Kaplan.
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In July, Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus were led away in shackles and handcuffs in front of 30 members of their former Amish community after their sentencing on child endangerment charges before Judge Jeffrey Finley in Doylestown. They have been in prison since June 16, 2016.
Daniel Stoltzfus, 44, who pleaded no contest, must serve 3½ years before he is eligible for parole, while his 43-year-old wife must serve at least three years. They will get credit for time served.
"It would be higher if I had the ability to do so," Judge Jeffrey Finley said to both parents of his sentences for them. "This goes beyond the aggravated sentencing range."
Finley said he could not comprehend why the Stoltzfus couple decided that giving their nine daughters to Lee Kaplan, of Feasterville, was a good solution to their money troubles.
Daniel Stoltzfus continued to live in Lancaster County during the more than four years while his daughters lived with Kaplan, who fathered two children with the couple’s eldest daughter. She was gifted to him at 14. Savilla Stoltzfus eventually moved in with Kaplan as well.
All told, nine of the Stoltzfus' children and two babies fathered by Kaplan and Savilla Stoltzfus lived in Kaplan's small Cape Cod-style home on Old Street Road.
The case garnered national attention last summer when details of life inside the Kaplan house initially came to light.
In an interview with NBC10 the week of Kaplan's arrest in June 2016, a FedEx delivery man said Kaplan didn't often wear his shirt to answer his front door, and his house "stunk ... like cat piss."
"He doesn't talk much. I tried joking with him, but he'd just stare at you with a blank face," said Brendan Cragg, who's been delivering packages in the neighborhood for the last 10 years. "He'd come to the door with no shirt on, that big beard. I knew he was crazy. It kind of stunk in there, I thought, like cat piss. I thought he was a hoarder."
A tip from a neighbor eventually led police to search Kaplan's house, where they found the girls — and a massive, elaborate miniature train collection in the basement.
That train collection was apparently part of an eBay business Kaplan ran out of his home. A business called "The Brass Caboose" that buys and sells miniature trains has the same address as Kaplan's house on Old Street Road in Feasterville.
"I thought about him all weekend," Cragg said. "I wish looking back I would have said something. But you don't really know what's going on (inside the house). I never saw anyone else in there."