Texas appeals court upholds conviction against FLDS man

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published 3 hours ago
Updated 40 minutes ago Updated Aug 26, 2011 12:32PM

In a ruling that could influence a dozen cases against polygamous sect men, including leader Warren Jeffs, a Texas appeals court refused to overturn a sexual assault conviction Friday.

Michael Emack, 60, pleaded no contest last year to charges in his polygamous marriage to an underage girl.

Emack is a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the sect led by Warren Jeffs, who was convicted of sexual assault of a child earlier this month.

Emack then appealed his conviction, saying that the search warrant used to gather the evidence against him was illegally obtained.

That warrant led to a massive raid on the FLDS Yearning for Zion Ranch in April 2008. The evidence collected there led to charges against 12 FLDS men, including Jeffs.

The call for help that led to the warrant, however, turned out to be a hoax. A Colorado woman called a shelter pretending to be an abused underage wife.

Despite the setback, however, the FLDS legal fight against the search warrant may not be over. Attorney Robert Udashen has said he plans to continue to appeal, perhaps to the US Supreme Court.

Jeffs has not yet appealed his conviction.

lwhitehurst@sltrib.com

 

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