On Wednesday, Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus, parents who gifted their own daughter to a child-raping cult leader, were sentenced to jail by a judge in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Stoltzfus, 44, pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 3½ to 7 years in jail, while Savilla Stoltzfus, 43, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 3 to 7 years in jail. Both were charged with child endangerment.
Pennsylvania law prohibits longer sentences for this specific charge. According to The New York Times, “The judge said he would have given them longer prison sentences if he were legally allowed.” Judge Jeffrey L. Finley of Bucks County Court sentenced the couple to the maximum allowed by the law. Their crime is “just incomprehensible,” said Judge Finley.
The couple “gifted” their oldest daughter to 52-year-old Lee Donald Kaplan five years ago in exchange for financial assistance and spiritual guidance toward a “blessed life” following the family’s decision to leave the Amish faith. According to authorities, the couple believed that Kaplan was a cultlike figure. They were ultimately brainwashed into thinking “child rape was the norm.”
In total, Kaplan sexually abused six of the couple’s daughters, who were given to him between the ages of 7-11, which is the age he started having sex with them. When police arrested the child rapist in June 2016, he said the little girls were his wives. Kaplan, who was “convicted last month on 17 counts of rape of a child, statutory sexual assault and other offenses,” according to The Times, faces a sentencing hearing in September.
The list of charges doesn’t do justice to the unimaginable horrors the 52-year-old made his underage victims endure.
“The girls slept on air mattresses in a house in Feasterville, Pa., about 20 miles northwest of Philadelphia,” notes The Times, citing a disturbing report by The Inquirer. “The house had a model train track and a tank of catfish but lacked toiletries like toothbrushes.”
As Judge Finley put it, the girls’ world was compressed into what one “might call a life of sex slaves.” By handing their daughters over to Kaplan, Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus exposed their own flesh and blood to “unimaginable” trauma, added the judge.
While Ms. Stoltzfus attempted to justify her egregious behavior by claiming that she only had an eighth-grade education and she believed that Kaplan could raise her children better than she ever could, Judge Finley refused to even indulge her sick logic.
“You allowed your daughters to continue to crawl into the bed of that man, knowing what was going on,” he said, noting that she had been complicit in the continued sexual abuse of her own children.