Self-proclaimed prophet gets up to 87 years for child sex abuse

By Danielle Haynes Follow @DanielleHaynes1 Contact the Author   |   Sept. 21, 2017 at 7:58 PM
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Sept. 21 (UPI) -- A Pennsylvania judge sentenced Lee Kaplan, a self-proclaimed prophet of God who molested several young girls in the same family, to 30 to 87 years in prison.

Judge Jeffrey Finley issued six prison sentences for Kaplan, one for each of the young girls he abused, to be served consecutively.

A Bucks County jury found Kaplan guilty on 17 counts of child sex abuse in June. At the time of his arrest in 2016, Kaplan was found to be living with nine sisters, their mother and two more children he fathered with the oldest sister, who is now 19-years-old. Kaplan considered six of the sisters, five of whom were underage, to be his wives.

Kaplan, 52, told police that the girls' parents, Daniel Stoltzfus and Savilla Stoltzfus, "gifted" their eldest daughter to him when she was 14-years-old. Having convinced the formerly Amish Stoltzfus couple that he was their prophet, Kaplan told Daniel Stoltzfus to have all the daughters and his wife move in with him.

Neighbors figured something to be amiss, due to the occasional sighting of the cadre of young girls in identical, homemade blue dresses, despite Kaplan's claims to be childless. A welfare check by authorities in 2016 led to Kaplan's arrest.

Kaplan didn't admit any wrongdoing in court Wednesday.

"I'm not sure what I can say to you, honestly," Kaplan told Finley. "I honestly believe no matter what I say, no matter how true it is, the weight of the media, public opinion, and politics is too great. Do what you feel is right."

Ray Downs contributed to this report.

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