A Pennsylvania couple who gave their six young daughters up to become sex slaves to a self-proclaimed prophet were sentenced to seven years in prison on child endangerment charges on Wednesday, The Washington Post reports.
The couple, Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus, gave their daughters to Lee Kaplan in exchange for financial help for their farm, which they were worried they might lose, according to Bucks County Judge Jeffrey L. Finley.
Daniel had pleaded no contest, and Savilla pleaded guilty to the charges.
“You exchanged a certain level of comfort for the intellectual, emotional and sexual well-being of your children,” Finley said during the sentencing. “You watched day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year as Mr. Kaplan took your daughters by the hand, led them into his bedroom, locked the door behind.”
The horrifying saga began in 2012 when the couple, worried about their finances, asked Kaplan for help. In exchange, they gave him their eldest daughter, who was 13 at the time, to be his “wife.”
She fathered two children by Kaplan, the first when she was only 14, The Post reports.
Nine more of the daughters were sent to Kaplan, and he made six his “wives.” The youngest girl he had a sexual relationship with was only 10.
He told them never to leave the house and that the outside world would destroy them. They grew most of their food, surviving on that and stored canned goods.
In 2016, a neighbor, Jen Betz, got an uneasy feeling about Kaplan, and he was arrested on her tip to the police.
“My gut was telling me to confirm what I was thinking. I just knew. There was no reason why this older, significantly older man, any man, regardless of what they look like, would have this amount of children, all in blue dresses, never outside the house regularly, looking so scared,” Betz told CNN. “I knew that something wasn’t right.”
Kaplan, 52, will be sentenced in August, after being convicted in June on 17 counts of child sexual abuse and rape.
[Image: Lower Southampton Police Department]