Pennsylvania couple sentenced to 7 years for giving daughters to friend

Holly Kellum
By Holly Kellum
July 20, 2017US News
Pennsylvania couple sentenced to 7 years for giving daughters to friend
An Amish farmer drags a wheelbarrow though one of his barns on Oct. 22, 2003 in Wakefield, Pennsylvania. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

A Pennsylvania couple accused of allowing six of their daughters to have sexual relations with a middle-aged man were sentenced to up to seven years in prison for child endangerment.

The Quarryville couple, who had 14 children, were sentenced on July 19 by a Bucks County judge for allowing at least six of their daughters—the youngest being 7—to have sexual relations with now-52-year old Lee Donald Kaplan, who last month was convicted on 17 counts of rape of a child, statutory sexual assault, and other offenses.

Their oldest daughter, who the couple allegedly “gifted” to Kaplan when she was 14 in exchange for financial help when they left the Amish community, has two children by him—a 3-year-old and a 10-month-old.

Daniel Stoltzfus, 44, pled no contest to the charges and received a maximum of seven years in prison with possible parole after 3 and a half years. His wife, Savilla Stoltzfus, 43, pled guilty and was sentenced seven years with possible parole after three years.

When investigators entered Kaplan’s Feasterville home last June after a concerned neighbor called a child helpline, they found nine of the couple’s girls and the two grandchildren living there.

Several girls testified during Kaplan’s trial that they had had sexual relations with him and considered him to be their husband.

Kaplan became involved with the family after the father, Daniel Stoltzfus, met him at an auction and he helped the couple leave the Amish community. He was also a spiritual leader for them, and mother Savilla said that when he came into their life “I observed that God was with him.”

Savilla Stoltzfus said she didn’t ask what was going on with her daughters and Kaplan behind closed doors, but said she thought it “could be a good thing.”

Kaplan believed it was the “will of God” that he strengthen the Stoltzfus bloodline by conceiving children with their girls, according to prosecutors.

One of the daughters read a statement on behalf of the sisters asking for a lenient sentence for her parents.

“We love our parents very dearly,” she said, according to Lancaster Online. “It is very hard for us to be separated from them for this long. It certainly will be a lot harder if the separation continues.”

However the judge, Jeffrey Finley, said he found the parents’ conduct “unimaginable” and that he would have given them a longer sentence if the state maximum for the offense were higher.

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