Finance

Pennsylvania parents get jail time in 'gifted' girls case

Pennsylvania parents get jail time in 'gifted' girls case

A Pennsylvania couple who "gifted" six daughters to a cult-like figure and forced them into a life of "sex slaves" were each sentenced to up to seven years in prison on Wednesday.

Finley said the actions of Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus were unimaginable as he sentenced them following their convictions on child endangerment charges.

Authorities said Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus gave their oldest girl to Lee Donald Kaplan because he helped them out of financial trouble when they broke with their Amish faith.

With his flowing gray hair and long beard, Kaplan used his status as a "prophet" to persuade the family that "child rape was the norm", prosecutors said, according to AP.

The girls" mother has said she knew about the sexual activity between the man and her daughters but believed "it could be a good thing'.

The couples' infatuation with Kaplan made them eventually choose to leave their Amish community in 2003 and move into Kaplan's Feasterville home.

Six of the daughters, now 9 to 19, later testified in court that their sexual contact with Kaplan began between the ages of 7 and 11 for each of them.

He didn't like the AT&T trucks parked in front of his home
Police said the workers told Jove that they would move as soon as possible, but they would need to finish their work first. Jove was arrested on two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm and two counts of felony vandalism.

The arrangement began about five years ago, Daniel told police, when the Stoltzfuses found themselves in danger of losing their farm in Lancaster, Pa., about 40 miles southeast of Harrisburg.

No sentencing date has been set for Kaplan.

The daughters testified against Kaplan during trial, and admitted that although he sexually assaulted them, they still had "affection and love" for him, which according to the National Center for Victims of Crime, is typical of children who are "groomed" by predators.

During sentencing, Finley accused Savilla of having tried deceiving police, scheming to hide what was happening in the house, while watching Kaplan bed her daughters for 4½ years. So They "gifted" one of their daughters to him.

"The sentence was appropriate, obviously based on what she did", Bucks County Deputy District Attorney Kate Kohler told CBS Philly.

According to Lancaster Online, the mother testified she was "a little shaken" when she found out in 2013 her oldest daughter, 14 at the time, was pregnant with Kaplan's child. During a trial of the case Wednesday, Savilla addressed to the judge and said: "I hope you may forgive me for putting my children at risk". The married couple could be reunited with their own children, who are now under state care, after they serve their sentences and undergo court-mandated therapy and mental health evaluations. "Daniel and Savilla both committed heinous acts against their children by allowing this to happen", she said, according to People. "The children need time to heal".

Although he never apologized, Daniel Stoltzfus also expressed regrets for what transpired, and told the judge he wanted to be "reconnected" with his children. "You watched day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year as Mr. Kaplan took your daughters by the hand, led them into his bedroom, locked the door behind".