Man charged with rape after being given 'gift' of US teen

Kaplan (above) was arrested on various charges, including statutory sexual assault and corruption of a minor, say reports.
Kaplan (above) was arrested on various charges, including statutory sexual assault and corruption of a minor, say reports.PHOTO: LOWER SOUTHAMPTON POLICE DEPARTMENT

NEW YORK (AFP) - A Pennsylvania man has been charged with raping a teen with whom he fathered two children, after receiving the girl four years ago as a "gift" from her parents, US news reports said on Saturday.

Lee Kaplan, 51, was arrested on Thursday in the town of Feasterville on various charges including statutory sexual assault and corruption of a minor, the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper and other media reported.

The girl's parents, Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus, gave the then 14 year old to Kaplan in gratitude "for helping (the) family out of financial ruin," according to criminal complaints.

News reports said the parents of the now 18-year-old girl have also been arrested. Kaplan and the victim's parents are being held on US$1 million (S$1.3 million) bail each.

The Stoltzfuses told police they were going to lose their farm until Kaplan "comes along and gives them money somehow," Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler told the Inquirer.

Authorities said the teen lived in an Amish town in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with her parents and siblings, before the family was kicked out of the community for unknown reasons.

Child welfare authorities removed the young mother, her two young daughters and nine sisters - all of whom lived with the teen and her parents in Kaplan's home.

Officials said Kaplan and the 18-year-old were not married, but acted as husband and wife.

It appeared that none of the children attended school and it was unclear if they had ever been to a doctor, but officials said they saw no visible signs of abuse or poor health.

Authorities said they were tipped off to the situation by an anonymous phone call.