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Parents Who Gave Daughters Away As Gifts To 52-Year-Old Man Learn Their Fate

An Amish couple has been sentenced to seven years in prison each, and will each have to serve at least three and a half years, after it was discovered that they gave six of their daughters' hands in marriage to a 52-year-old man. The youngest was only seven years old.

The Amish parents, 42-year-old Daniel Stoltzfus and his 43-year-old wife, Savilla, suffered from a number of misfortunes since 2001. First, their young son was killed in a tragic farming accident. Next, they became embroiled in a conflict with their isolated Amish community and split with the group, cast into the real world to make their own way.

After that, a $300,000 bank loan from the Amish bank was revoked, and the family was penniless. The couple didn't know what to do.

That's when Pennsylvania man Lee Donald Kaplan swooped in to save the day. He offered the family money, stayed with them and helped them get out of the hole. According to witnesses, the Stoltzfus family were grateful and indebted to Kaplan, and he began to hold a cult leader-like influence over the family.

When the family was struggling and Kaplan loaned them money a few years ago, they asked what they could do to pay him back. Kaplan suggested they give him their 14-year-old daughter to marry. Preying on their naiveté and vulnerability, he convinced the parents that this would be a great idea.

Over the next few years, the family continued to give daughters to Kaplan as gifts, who he took as his illegal 'brides'. One says she was only seven years old when Kaplan first took her into his home and his bed to have sex with her as 'husband and wife'.

For years, the six Stoltzfus girls and three other girls of unknown origins lived as Kaplan's 'wives'. The oldest was the 14-year-old that the mother and father first gifted him, and by the age of 19 she had given birth to two of Kaplan's children.

That's when neighbors, who noticed the girls always in the house and dressed up in identical old-fashion dresses, started becoming suspicious and reported Kaplan.

Kaplan was convicted on 17 counts of sex crimes against the children, and is appealing. The judge blasted Mr. and Mrs. Stoltzfus for making 'sex slaves' out of their children.

"You continued letting your children crawl into the bed of that man when you knew what was going on," the judge said.

"I regret having to put my children through what they've been through this past year and wish to reunite with my children," said Daniel.

"Forgive me for the fact that I put my children at risk," said Savilla, who claims she was 'very very lost' at the time. She really believed that giving the children to Kaplan 'could be a good thing'.

The victims ranged from the ages of 9 to 19. All of the girls and the two children of the oldest girl were removed from the home, but it's unclear where they are now.

Source: Daily Mail
Photos: YouTube, WITF, NBC Philladelphia

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