A Pennsylvania man who befriended and provided financial support to a former Amish family in exchange for sexual relationships with six of their underage daughters has been sentenced to 30 to 87 years in prison.
Lee Kaplan, 52, was sentenced Sept. 20 on multiple counts of child rape, statutory sexual assault and other charges. The court classified him as a sexually violent predator, according to The Associated Press.
"Corrupt, perverted, atrocious -- use what adjective you'd like to use," said Judge Jeffrey L. Finley of Kaplan's actions, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Kaplan's relationship with the family began in 2002 when he met Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus. He helped the family as they were leaving the Amish community and going through financial troubles. In exchange for his help, the Stoltzfus "gifted" their oldest daughter to Kaplan.
Kaplan had two children with the Stoltzfus' oldest daughter. She first gave birth at 14.
Between 2008 and 2016, the Stoltzfus sent nine of their 10 daughters to live with Kaplan, who made the six oldest girls his "wives," according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The couple has 14 children.
Kaplan's lawyer says his client insists he did not have a sexual relationship with the youngest girls, but several girls previously testified that Kaplan began sexually assaulting them when they were as young as 6, according to AP.
"One could argue ... that you utilized [your intellect] to help establish a relationship with the children not for the purpose of putting a roof over their head or putting a meal in their stomachs or educating them, but for getting them to climb into your bed," Finley told Kaplan during the sentencing. "If there was a good intent, it was washed away by the horrific acts that you committed upon this family."
The girls' mother, Savilla, knew of Kaplan's relationship with her daughters but believed "it could be a good thing." Savilla also began having sex with Kaplan and considered her daughters romantic rivals, authorities told AP.
The Stoltzfus were charged with child endangerment and sentenced to up to seven years in prison in July. The underage children have been placed in a group home with their siblings.
Deputy District Attorney Kate Kohler told the Philadelphia Inquirer that Kaplan was a danger "to children everywhere," and she is "very happy that he will be spending the next 30 to 87 years behind bars. That's exactly where he belongs."
Kaplan's lawyer said they would consider an appeal.
"We're reviewing all our options," he told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "At this point, there are certainly some issues that need to be explored, but that's not my decision at the end of the day; that's Mr. Kaplan's."
Sources: AP via WPVI, Philadelphia Inquirer / Featured Image: Public Domain Pictures / Embedded Images: Megan Trimble/AP via People, Lower Southampton Police Department via Lancaster Online