FEASTERVILLE, Pa. (AP) – A neighbor said she had long felt that “something isn’t right” at a Bucks County home where a man is accused of sexually assaulting a teenager whose parents police say gave her to him when she was 14.
“They’re so sad and fearful every time I see them. That’s what made me call,” she said Saturday. “I’ve been telling my husband for years ‘Something isn’t right, something isn’t right.’”
Officials acting on a tip Thursday found 51-year-old Lee Kaplan at his home along with the girls, ranging in age from six months to 18 years. The 18-year-old told police that she and Kaplan have a 3-year-old and a six-month-old. Kaplan faces charges including statutory sexual assault, unlawful contact with a minor, and aggravated indecent assault.
District Attorney David Heckler said the parents of the girl Kaplan is accused of assaulting told police they were going to lose their farm until Kaplan “came out of the blue and saved them from financial ruin.”
Authorities allege in an affidavit that the girl’s father told an officer he gave his 14-year-old daughter to Kaplan after researching the legality of such an action online.
On Saturday, police and dogs scoured the home’s backyard for evidence. Lt. Ted Krimmel of the Lower Southampton police department said authorities waited until dawn so they would be able to search the property in daylight.
“We have a search warrant for the entire property,” he said. “There are dogs searching for evidence.”
Krimmel said officials are trying to verify who the parents of the other children found at the home are. The teenager’s parents told police the other nine girls in the house were their children, but no birth certificates or Social Security cards could be located to confirm that, he said.