Man convicted of raping six formerly Amish girls in one family

A Pennsylvania man was convicted Tuesday of sexually assaulting six girls in one family, including one who was "gifted" to him.

WPVI reports that the girls' parents, Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus, let Lee Kaplan have sex with their oldest daughter because he helped them out of their difficult financial situation. They are former members of the Amish community.

Jurors in Buck County found Kaplan, 52, guilty on all 17 counts of rape of a child, statutory sexual assault and other offenses.

Authorities found 12 girls, who at the time were between the ages of 3 months old and 18 years old, living with Kaplan in June 2016.

Police said the girls' father thought the transaction was legal based on research he did online.

Kaplan fathered two children with the girl -- the first when she was only 14.

WPVI reports that Deputy District Attorney Kate Kohler said in her closing argument on Monday that Kaplan "brainwashed" the entire family, portrayed himself as a prophet and created a world in which child rape was "the norm."

Several of the children testified that they considered Kaplan to be their husband.

A 9 year old testified that Kaplan started molesting her when she was 7, but he told her not to tell anyone. The girl's mother testified that she knew about the unlawful sexual activity but believed "it could be a good thing."

Defense attorney Ryan Hyde said the Stoltzfus family considered Kaplan to be married to the oldest child, and he characterized his client as having been taken advantage of by the family following his generosity.

Jurors deliberated for more than nine hours over two days and a sentencing date has not yet been set. The parents of the six girls are also awaiting sentencing on child endangerment convictions.

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