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Closing arguments to begin in "gifted" girls case

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. - The prosecution has rested in the case of Lee Kaplan, the Bucks County man accused of sexually assaulting the six daughters of a couple who allegedly "gifted" them to him because he helped them financially.

On Friday, the defense declined to call witnesses, and the jury was sent home for the weekend.

Closing arguments are scheduled to begin at Monday at 9 a.m.

During the trial several of the girls who were sent to live with Kaplan by their parents, Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus, testified he had sex with them and they considered him to be their husband.

A girl who's 15 says Kaplan began having sexual contact with her when she was 11 or 12. She says she believed that's what husbands and wives do. A 9-year-old says Kaplan told her "not to tell anybody what he was doing."

The daughters range in age from 9 to 18; Kaplan fathered two children by the eldest daughter, who's now 19.

Savilla Stoltzfus told the jury she believes Kaplan is a prophet, and admires, respects, and loves him. She testified that she and Daniel, an Amish family from Lancaster County looking to leave the faith, gifted girls to Kaplan.

She testified Kaplan taught them about life, faith and how to be a woman and wife, after Kaplan helped them financially when they were involved in a lawsuit.

In opening statements, Kaplan's defense called the Stoltzfuses an opportunistic family that saw a victim and took advantage of someone wanting to help out.

This all came to light last June when a concerned neighbor called police after seeing disheveled girls outside Kaplan's Lower Bucks County home. Authorities found 11 girls inside.

An officer for Children and Youth testified Kaplan initially lied several times about how many girls were inside and what their relationship was.

The jury also saw the inside and outside of Kaplan's home. A Bucks County detective said the windows were nailed shut, boarded up or covered in cloth.

However, both Savilla and her eldest daughter said they still love Kaplan and don't regret their life with him.

 


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