On January 22, 2010, Michael George Emack pled no contest to sexual assault charges and was sentenced to seven years in prison. This came about because he married a 16-year-old at YFZ Ranch on August 5, 2004. She would give birth to a son less than a year later.
Who is Mike Emack? Mike was born in 1950. He served in the Vietnam War and is a gifted Engineer. It is safe to say that he deserves much of the credit for the creation and construction of the YFZ Ranch. Mike is one of the most respected men among the FLDS, known as a man of integrity. But he was caught up in Warren’s twisted marriage doctrine, and now must face the consequences.
Mike has at least four wives including the underage victim (name withheld). He had married another 16-year-old, Sarah Hammon back in 1974 when he was age 23. His other two wives are Celia (age 45) and Alice Mae (age 59). In the YFZ bishop’s record he listed 12 unmarried children. He probably has at least twice that number and many grandchildren.
Warren Jeffs called Mike Emack on the mission for the redemption of Zion at YFZ in October or November 2003. None of his family were permitted to come with him and he was not allowed to tell them where he was going or what his mission was about. In fact, he had to lie to his family left behind in Short Creek (865 N Midway St., Hildale, UT).
Mike went right to work on many projects as construction started at YFZ. One early mysterious project was to build a furnace. (Some have speculated that it was for a crematorium, which is highly unlikely.) Robert Richter, who later left the FLDS wrote, “Charles Olds told me Mike Emack needed a furnace built and needed our help. I had no idea where Mike was at the time. It never crossed my mind it might be illegit because it came from Mike (I trusted Mike, but I was starting to get suspicious of Warren even then). Coming from Mike, I would have expected a steel mill before a crematory. . . . Mike's only comment to me through it all is ‘we are working for a good cause, but I can't tell you anything, except that I was called on a mission.’ What's odd is there wasn't as much secrecy on the furnace as there was on a silly rock cutting saw. I was admonished not to talk about it, but nowhere near the drilling I got on the rock cutting saw.”
In April, 2004, Warren mentioned Mike in his dictactions. "I told him to keep Mike Emack and Luke Jessop there at R23 (South Dakota) to finish the freezer room and the refrigerator room." By May 30. In May, 2004, Mike was back at YFZ and said the prayer at a general meeting where they had to listen to Warren chastise them for two hours.
On August 5, 2004, Mike was assigned to marry the underage 16-year-old girl. He didn’t refuse. This decision would later be the reason for him spending time in prision.
By September 2004, Mike was set apart as a temple builder.
In 2005, Winston Blackmore from Canada, who had been kicked out by Warren several years earlier, flew over YFZ hoping to get a glimpse of some family members. Winston wrote, “In my thoughts I could see Mike Emack, tired and worn out, trying to make any sense out of working 20 hour days while his children are home suffering for their father, and finally just going away because he is nowhere to be found. I actually thought I heard him sob from his hiding place.”
In June 2005, on the Texas blog, there was a discussion about Mike and whether he was at YFZ. “I would like to know the whereabouts of my good friend Mike Emack. Mike is such a sensible thinking guy that I can't imagine him being involved in such atrocities as seem to be happening to the people from Hilldale and Colorado City. Mike seemed to not know the existence of the Texas compound. He told his family that no place even existed. Mike is such an honest decent fellow I can't believe he would outright lie to his family. Mike spent time in the Vietnam war. I'm sure he would not fall into a communistic rule as seems to be practiced in FLDS compound in Eldorado Texas. On the other hand if those people are building something technical such as a creamatorium, they would have to have Mike to design the workings of such a thing. Mike is what I consider to be a genius in working with technology. Mike if you are still around out there, or if anyone knows his whereabouts. Please post a message to inform us.”
Another person wrote, “Mike Emack is not a liar. A cleaner, more Christ-like man could never be found! If he is in Eldorado, it is because his heart tells him to be. Leave this sweet, patriotic, innocent man out of this!”
Several other posters confirmed that he was indeed at YFZ Ranch.
In July, 2006, Warren, still on the run, again mentioned Mike in his dictations. “He [Merril Jessop] informed me that an FBI agent called Mike Emack right on Mike Emack’s mobile phone, asking him if he would testify against me. So there is that effort trying to come right among the people on this land. May the Lord deliver us from our enemies.”
During the YFZ Ranch Raid, Mike's daughter, Martha, was prominent in the media as she was separated from her two children. Martha gave her maiden name to media instead of her real name. Martha was the former wife of Guy Draper who had been kicked out of the FLDS in 2005. At least one of his wives stayed with him, but Martha stayed with the FLDS. By 2008, Martha had already been passed around to her third husband at the age of only 21!
In September 2005, she was brought to YFZ and reassigned to Joseph Steed (twice her age). He was "handled" in 2006 and lost his priesthood and wives. Martha was then reassigned to Keith William Dutson Sr. who was also twice her age. She had two children. Her children ages, 1 and 2, were taken to a Texas shelter for a few weeks. Draper is the father of here first child Dutson the father of her second child.
Using the records seized in the raid, in July 2008, Mike was charged with felony sexual assault. In August he posted a $100,000 bond and was not allowed to leave the county and had to stay away from his 19-year-old wife. He was indicted by the Grand Jury in August. In January, 2010, Mike, now age 59, moved into his new home, prison.