Lehigh Valley

Jurors sent home for the night in 'gifted' girl case

Deliberation will continue Tuesday

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. - The fate of a Bucks County man accused of sexually assaulting girls who were "gifted" to him is now in the hands of a jury.

The jury deliberated for more than five hours Monday afternoon before the judge sent them home for the night.

Lee Kaplan faces 17 counts of child sex abuse. He was charged with sexually assaulting six underage sisters, the youngest being just seven years old, over an eight-year span. The family and Kaplan both say the girls were his wives.

During closing arguments Monday, the prosecution told the jury in the world of Lee Kaplan, sex with kids is ordained by God.

However, the defense argued Kaplan is the victim of an opportunistic family that used Kaplan to better their lives. The defense said the DA's office did a poor investigation and the girls were coached on what to say.

During the trial, the girls' biological mother, Savilla Stolfuz, testified she views Kaplan as a prophet and that she and her six daughters were gifted to Kaplan by her legal husband after he helped them out financially. She also said she doesn't regret it and still loves him.

Her now 19-year-old daughter, who has two kids fathered by Kaplan, testified she was 12 when she first had sex with him at his Feasterville, Bucks County home. She too testified she still loves the man she calls her husband.

The prosecution says this is an example of Kaplan brainwashing the family.

"It's not abnormal for victims to love and have affection and sympathy for their offenders, it's more normal than not," said prosecutor Kate Kohler.

During the trial, the jury also heard how the girls didn't have birth certificates, social security numbers, and were not registered in a school district. They also had never seen a doctor and several of the girls had health issues, including untreated Lyme disease and major tooth decay.

This all came to light last June when a neighbor saw two of the girls outside looking disheveled. They called police and the investigation started.

Detective's testified the windows in Kaplan's home were nailed shut, boarded up or covered. They also said air conditioning was in only one room and the upstairs reached 120 degrees. They said there was one bed and the 11 total girls slept on an air mattress or the floor.

The defense admitted Kaplan fathered the two girls with the oldest victim, but said in his eyes they are married and it was consented by her parents.

They also admitted he is "weird" but said that does not make him a pedophile.

The jury will be back Tuesday at 9 a.m.

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