Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Jewish Man Charged With Raping Amish Teen ‘Gifted’ to Him by Parents

— A Pennsylvania man identified as Jewish in a federal lawsuit against the Amish church has been charged with the sexual assault of a teen who was “gifted” to him by her parents, who were suing their former church.

Police found 12 girls aged 18 years to 6 months in the Lower Southampton home of Lee Kaplan, 51, when it was raided Thursday based on a tip from a neighbor, according to philly.com.

The 18-year-old had been given to Kaplan by her parents, Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus, when she was 14 and reportedly is the mother with Kaplan of two of the girls: the 6-month-old and a 3-year-old. The other girls living with Kaplan in the home some 20 miles from Philadelphia are believed to be the oldest girl’s sisters, the website reported.

On Friday, Bucks County officials still were trying to determine how the other nine children came to be living with Kaplan.

Kaplan is being held on $1 million bail and is charged with sexually assaulting the teen. It is not known if he had sexual relations with any of the other girls.

The girl’s father told police he gave his daughter to Kaplan in gratitude after Kaplan helped the family financially. He said he thought it was legal, The Associated Press reported.

The Stoltzfuses also are being held on $1 million bail. He is charged with conspiracy of statutory sexual assault and children endangerment; she is charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

The couple were Amish, but renounced it amid a years-long fight with community elders, according to a federal lawsuit they filed in 2009 against the church. They said they were shunned after Kaplan helped them keep their metalworking business and the property on which their home was located because he was Jewish. The lawsuit was dismissed several months later.

The children found in Kaplan’s home reportedly are together in protective custody.

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.