Revealing horrific new allegations, officials on Monday charged a Bucks County man already accused of impregnating a teenager who allegedly had been "gifted" to him with sexually abusing six girls in total, including one as young as 6.
The sisters allegedly told authorities they believed they were wives of Lee Kaplan, 51, who was arrested in June on charges of rape of the oldest. The case drew national attention this summer when 11 females were discovered at Kaplan's Feasterville home.
In announcing new charges Monday, authorities detailed alleged sexual assaults against six of the sisters beginning in 2008.
Kaplan "groomed them to believe that he was a religious, cult-like figure to whom they should submit their will," Bucks County District Attorney Matthew D. Weintraub said at a news conference in Feasterville, adding that Kaplan styled himself "a prophet from God."
Kaplan was arraigned Monday on additional charges of statutory sexual assault, the rape of children, and related offenses. He is held in the Bucks County jail on $1.1 million bail.
The affidavit of probable cause described acts it said Kaplan performed on the girls, including vaginal and anal rape.
The acts began when the oldest was 10 and continued for eight years, until a neighbor's tip led police to discover the sisters this summer.
Eleven females - nine sisters plus an infant and a 3-year-old whom Kaplan fathered with the oldest sister - lived in the house on overgrown grounds on Old Street Road. The six said to have been abused are now between 8 and 18.
The sisters' parents, Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus, told authorities in June that they had given their oldest daughter, then 14, to Kaplan in 2012 as a thank-you for help with their financial problems.
The parents were charged in June with child endangerment and remain jailed. No additional charges have been filed against them.
The sisters originally told authorities they had not been abused, but Weintraub said investigators earned their trust over the last four months.
"Although they're being incredibly brave, they probably still share some feelings for this man, because he has had them at his beck and call over many, many years," he said.
Kaplan's attorney, Ryan L. Hyde, said that while he had not yet reviewed the charges or talked to Kaplan, "at this stage in the game, they're just allegations. They haven't proven anything yet."
The revelations also provided further detail about Kaplan's life with the Stoltzfus family and the previously alleged abuse of the oldest female.
In 2008, when the oldest was 10, Kaplan began staying in a bedroom in the Stoltzfus house in Quarryville, Lancaster County, she told authorities. Kaplan became a business partner with Daniel Stoltzfus in 2003 and befriended the family, which left the Amish church after meeting Kaplan, according to accounts from family members and court records.
According to the affidavit, Kaplan was the "prime mover" in taking the girls as wives, Weintraub said, but "none of this would've happened without the parents' acquiescence and support."
At the Stoltzfus home, Kaplan performed various sexual acts on the oldest girl until she turned 12 and then began having intercourse with her, she told authorities. Two years later, she moved into the Feasterville house. By age 18, she had the two children and considered herself Kaplan's wife.
She and her 17-year-old sister have said that all six of the sisters were his wives.
"Kaplan would have dreams about them becoming his wives, and Kaplan stated that this was what God wanted," the second-oldest, 17, told police.
Kaplan took her as his wife and began having sex with her at 14. The third, now 15, was first raped at 11. The fourth, now 13, was 10 when the sex began. The fifth, now 10, was assaulted starting at age 6 but did not describe rape. The sixth, now 8, said Kaplan began raping her anally after her eighth birthday, the affidavit said.
The three other sisters found in Kaplan's home are ages 7, 5, and 3. Kaplan's children are 3 and 1. No abuse of them was reported, Weintraub said. A 12th sister, now 9, lived in Quarryville with brothers and Daniel Stoltzfus. There are no abuse allegations from her.
Weintraub said it was hard to say whether more charges could be filed against Kaplan.
"If we're successful, he's going to spend the rest of his life exactly where he is now - in prison," he said
Welfare hearings for the girls, who have been cared for by child-protection services, began this summer. Weintraub said Monday the girls were safe and together, but he said he could not disclose where.
Trials for all three adults were scheduled to begin next week, but have been postponed. A hearing for Kaplan was set for Nov. 15.