PHILADELPHIA, PA - By now you’ve heard the story about 51-year-old Lee Kaplan in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He was arrested for holding twelve girls in his home. The youngest were his daughters that he had with a 14-year-old girl. The girl is said to have been given to the man by her parents after he had helped them financially. Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus used their oldest daughter as payment.
We all want answers about how something like this could happen. One thing is clear, although the couple strongly identify as Amish and were both raised in the Amish community, they left the church in 2003 after a falling out with church elders. Karen Johnson-Weiner, a professor of anthropology at State University of New York stated, “Certainly ‘gifting' a 14-year-old daughter to anyone, much less a non-Amish man to whom one owes money, is not in any way Amish behavior. No Amish group would sanction this behavior.”
Kaplan’s neighbor Jen Betz called authorities after seeing the girls outside. She said, “They’re so sad and fearful every time I see them. That’s what made me call. I’ve been telling my husband for years ‘something isn’t right, something isn’t right.'”
Luckily all of the children are together now in protective custody. If you are suspicious that a child is being mistreated, please report it to authorities as soon as possible. Don’t hesitate to make the call.