Pennsylvania (US): A Philadelphia couple was sentenced to 7 years in prison on Wednesday for gifting 9 of their daughters to a self-proclaimed prophet Lee Kaplan. The couple, Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus was arrested in June 2016.
51-year-old Kaplan, a former business associate living with 12 females was found by the police at his Feasterville home in Pennsylvania. He was accused of having sexual relations with six of the nine daughters of the Stoltzfus couple and claimed to have been married to them. Kaplan was convicted of 17 charges including child rape, statutory sexual assault and indecent assault on June 17, reports ibtimes.
Kaplan had convinced the Stoltzfus couple that he was a prophet of God. Judge Jeffrey Finley called the act “unacceptable in any civilised society, it would be higher if I had the ability to do so. This goes beyond the aggravated sentencing range.”
While testifying before the court, Daniel said he had also “gifted” his wife to Kaplan “in hopes of strengthening the Stoltzfus bloodlines,” according to a statement by the prosecutor’s office.
The girls, now age from 9 to 18, had earlier testified in May stating that Kaplan had sex with them and they considered him their husband. On Wednesday, during the trial of the case, one of the girls said she hoped the court would have mercy on her “beloved parents”.
Deputy District Attorney Kate Kohler said the sentences were just. “These children need time to heal and to learn in therapy about what’s supposed to be happening in the real world. Daniel and Savilla both committed heinous acts against their children by allowing this to happen,” she said.