A PENNSYLVANIA man faces charges including sexual assault after police say they found him living with 12 girls, including an 18-year-old and two children he fathered with her.
Police in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, just north of Philadelphia, arrested Lee Kaplan, 51, on Thursday. Police said the girls living with Kaplan at his house ranged in age from 6 months to 18 years.
In a related case, authorities nearly 100 miles away in Lancaster County arrested the parents of the 18-year-old, with police saying the couple had “gifted” their daughter to Kaplan for helping them out of financial difficulties.
She was 14 when her first child was conceived, the criminal complaint said.
Kaplan was charged with statutory sexual assault, corruption of minors, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault and unlawful contact with a minor, according to a police criminal complaint filed n Bucks County.
The 18-year-old’s parents, Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus of Quarryville, are charged with endangering the welfare of children. Daniel Stoltzfus also faces charges of criminal conspiracy and statutory sexual assault, according to a criminal complaint filed by police in Bucks County.
All three adults are being held on $1 million bail in the Bucks County Correctional Facility, according to court dockets.
Neighbor complaint gets police attention
Officers from the Lower Southampton Police Department said they responded to the small white home on Old Street in the Feasterville community on a tip from a neighbor.
Jen Betz told CNN affiliate WPVI that she contacted authorities after she saw two girls outside Kaplan’s house looking “unhappy and sad.”
“I just wasn’t going to let go. I saw a couple girls last week standing in the driveway. They just looked unhappy and sad … and I’ve been telling my husband for years something isn’t right, something isn’t right,” Betz told the station.
Kaplan had told neighbors that no children lived with him, according to the complaint.
In his booking photo, Kaplan appears with long gray hair and an unkempt beard. He is the owner of Kaplan Precision Machine Company, according to state corporation filings.
“I really can’t believe it, because I really thought it was his own daughter,” an unidentified neighbor told CNN affiliate KYW, referring to the 18-year-old. “It looks like his own daughter to me.”
Other neighbors told the affiliate the girls didn’t go to school and were rarely let outside.
According to police affidavits, Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus “came to an agreement” to give Kaplan their daughter after Daniel Stoltzfus “researched the legality of it on the Internet,” the affidavit says.
“Stoltzfus stated that his daughter … was ‘gifted’ to Lee Kaplan in thanks for helping his family out of financial ruin,” the affidavit continues.
Police have not revealed details about the identities, backgrounds or current whereabouts of the girls.
“Right now we’re coordinating with authorities in Lancaster County to interview these children in a safe environment,” Lower Southampton Police Lt. John Krimmel told WPVI. – CNN