A Bucks County Court heard that Lee Kaplan had befriended a struggling Amish family, made six of the sisters his wives and sexually abused the young women for over a decade. According to News Corp, the sisters are now aged between nine and 19. Kaplan fathered two children by one of the girls.
On Tuesday, the man was convicted of 17 child-sexual assault charges.
“He was brought to justice today, and I’m very happy,” Deputy District Attorney Kate Kohler told The Inquirer.
Authorities alleged the parents of the girls had “gifted” their eldest daughter—aged just seven at the time—to Kaplan because he had offered them financial assistance.
In court, Deputy District Attorney Kohler argued that Kaplan had “brainwashed” the family and carried himself as a prophet of God.
“In that world, child rape is the norm,” she said. “Sex with children is ordained by God. They existed for one reason and one reason alone.”
The sisters testified that they had suffered years of abuse of the hands of Kaplan, but some said they still loved him as a husband.
One of the girls told the court Kaplan first molested her when she was just seven years old. The girl’s mother told the court that she knew about the interaction, but thought “it could be a good thing,” News Corp reports.
Kaplan’s attorney, Ryan Hyde said his client maintained he was innocent. “He’s said from the very beginning he didn’t do these things,” Hyde explained.
Deputy District Attorney Kohler delivered some good news in light of the girl's tragic past. Ssince being rescued from Kaplan’s house, the girls are "already starting to spread their wings more,”.