This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
AUSTIN, Texas • A polygamist sect member convicted in the wake of Texas authorities raiding the church's remote ranch in 2008 is asking an appeals court to overturn his conviction.
Michael Emack is scheduled Wednesday to challenge the search warrant that led to Texas authorities removing more than 400 children from the Yearning for Zion Ranch. The 60-year-old is the first ranch resident to appeal his conviction since the raid.
In court filings, attorneys for Emack called the raid "a law enforcement debacle of unprecedented scope and magnitude."
Emack last year pleaded no contest to charges of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl. A church spokesman said at the time that Emack didn't believe he would get a fair trial locally, so he made the plea with the intent of later appealing his case.