Parents Who ‘Gifted’ a Daughter to Man Are Sentenced

The judge, Jeffrey L. Finley of Bucks County Court, sentenced Mr. Stoltzfus, 44, to 3½ to seven years in jail and Ms. Stoltzfus, 43, to three to seven years. The judge said he would have given them longer prison sentences if he were legally allowed.

The case came to light in June 2016 after the authorities learned that Mr. Kaplan had impregnated the oldest daughter twice, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Neighbors had repeatedly called the police and child welfare authorities over several months with concerns about the girls, but officials said the calls were not specifically about child abuse and did not justify search warrants.

Neighbors said the girls seldom came out to play in the backyard, which was overgrown with weeds. Mr. Kaplan would occasionally walk outside with the girls, holding the hand of the oldest.

Judge Finley said the parents sent their daughters to live what some “might call a life of sex slaves” and exposed them to “unimaginable” trauma.

Six of the couple’s daughters, now ages 9 to 19, testified in court that their sexual contact with Mr. Kaplan began between the ages of 7 and 11 for each of them, The Inquirer reported.

Ms. Stoltzfus has said she knew about the sexual relationships but believed “it could be a good thing,” The Associated Press reported.

Ms. Stoltzfus testified that she viewed Mr. Kaplan as a trusted adviser who would help the family seek a “blessed life,” The Inquirer reported.

She said she viewed sex and submission as wifely duties for her daughters, who were taken as his wives. Ms. Stoltzfus testified that she had only an eighth-grade education and believed she could not teach her children as well as Mr. Kaplan could.

The authorities said the couple “gifted” their oldest daughter to Mr. Kaplan because he helped them out of financial trouble five years ago when they broke with their Amish faith. He told the couple the girls were his wives, the police said.

The girls slept on air mattresses in a house in Feasterville, Pa., about 20 miles northwest of Philadelphia. The house had a model train track and a tank of catfish but lacked toiletries like toothbrushes, The Inquirer reported.

The judge told Ms. Stoltzfus that she had watched for months as her daughters accompanied Mr. Kaplan into his bedroom.

“You allowed your daughters to continue to crawl into the bed of that man, knowing what was going on,” the judge told her, according to the statement from the Bucks County District Attorneyr’s office.

During the hearings on Wednesday, one of the girls read a statement asking the judge to be lenient, saying the family was suffering “needless” misery. Judge Finley acknowledged the pain that would come with the parents in prison but said their crimes were inexcusable.

“I understand their heartbreak at seeing their mother and their father in shackles, in cuffs, in prison garb,” he told Ms. Stoltzfus before sentencing her, The A.P. reported. “You made that decision. You knew what you were risking.”

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