Opening statements Wednesday in child ‘gifting’ sexual assault case

Lee Kaplan

DOYLESTOWN, BUCKS COUNTY, Pa. — A Bucks County jury of eight men and four women was selected Tuesday in the child sex-assault trial of Lee Kaplan, accused of sexually assaulting six girls sent by their parents to live with him in Kaplan’s Lower Southampton home.

Kaplan, 52, faces multiple counts of Child Rape, Statutory Sexual Assault, Indecent Assault on a Child, and Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse with a Child. Prosecutors contend that Kaplan befriended and financially supported a formerly Amish family in Lancaster County, and that the parents then “gifted” some of their nine daughters to Kaplan, sending them to live in the house where the assaults allegedly occurred.

The alleged victims ranged in age from 6 to 14 when the assaults are alleged to have begun. Prosecutors say the eldest daughter eventually gave birth to two children fathered by Kaplan. The girls’ parents, Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus, have entered pleas to Endangering the Welfare of Children and are awaiting sentencing.

Before jury selection began, defense attorney Ryan Hyde announced that he would not pursue an insanity defense, which he indicated several weeks ago that he was considering.

Opening statements and testimony are scheduled to begin Wednesday morning before Bucks County President Judge Jeffrey L. Finley in Doylestown.