PENNSYLVANIA — Investigators have been combing through 51-year-old Lee Kaplan’s belongings for evidence since Thursday, June 16th — when police say they found him living with 12 girls, including an 18-year-old and two children he fathered with her.
Kaplan now faces a multitude of charges — including sexual assault.
Police said the girls living with Kaplan at his house on the quiet Old Street Road ranged in age from six months to 18 years.
“Just flabbergasted,” a neighbor said.
“Amazed. It was going on right under our noses,” another neighbor said.
“You noticed these little children — these little girls, only little girls, and they would be outside very sporadically. Very rarely you would see one or two,” Jen Betz, a neighbor said.
This neighbor says her motherly instincts kicked in, and when she sensed something was off, she called Pennsylvania’s “Child Line.”
“This is it. Finally. Enough. Like — catch this guy!” Betz said.
Police did not discover birth certificates or school records for any of the 12 children living with Kaplan. They learned Kaplan had allegedly fathered two of the children with the 18-year-old girl.
“Lee Kaplan had sexual relations with her. During the course of those relations, a three-year-old and a six-month-old child were born. Mr. Kaplan had her living there as some sort of repayment for a financial situation,” Lt. John Krimmel with the Lower Southampton Township Police Department.
In a related case, authorities nearly 100 miles away in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania arrested the parents of the 18-year-old girl, with police saying the couple had “gifted” their daughter to Kaplan for helping them out of financial difficulties. She was 14 when her first child was conceived, the criminal complaint said.
According to police affidavits, Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus “came to an agreement” to give Kaplan their daughter after Daniel Stoltzfus “researched the legality of it on the Internet,” the affidavit says.
“Stoltzfus stated that his daughter … was ‘gifted’ to Lee Kaplan in thanks for helping his family out of financial ruin,” the affidavit continues.
Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler told CNN on Sunday that the Stoltzfuses claimed to be the parents of 10 of the girls, and the grandparents of the remaining two children.
Kaplan was charged with statutory sexual assault, corruption of minors, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault and unlawful contact with a minor, according to a police criminal complaint filed in Bucks County.
The 18-year-old girl’s parents are charged with endangering the welfare of children. Daniel Stoltzfus also faces charges of criminal conspiracy and statutory sexual assault, according to a criminal complaint filed by police in Bucks County.
All three adults are being held on $1 million bail in the Bucks County Correctional Facility, according to court dockets.
CNN has not been able to reach attorneys for either the Stoltzfuses or Kaplan.
Neighbor complaint gets police attention
Officers from the Lower Southampton Police Department said they responded to the small white home on Old Street in the Feasterville community on a tip from a neighbor.
Jen Betz told CNN affiliate WPVI that she contacted authorities after she saw two girls outside Kaplan’s house looking “unhappy and sad.”
“I just wasn’t going to let go. I saw a couple girls last week standing in the driveway. They just looked unhappy and sad — and I’ve been telling my husband for years something isn’t right,” Betz said.
Kaplan had told neighbors that no children lived with him, according to the complaint.
In his booking photo, Kaplan appears with long gray hair and an unkempt beard. He is the owner of Kaplan Precision Machine Company, according to state corporation filings.
Police have not revealed details about the identities, backgrounds or current whereabouts of the girls.
“Right now we’re coordinating with authorities in Lancaster County to interview these children in a safe environment,” Krimmel said.