AUSTIN, Texas — A state appeals court has upheld the conviction of a polygamous sect member who argued that the massive 2008 raid on the Yearning for Zion ranch was unjust.

The 3rd District Court of Appeals on Friday denied the appeal of Michael Emack, who is a follower of Fundamentalist LDS Church leader Warren Jeffs. Emack was the first convicted member of Jeffs' sect to take his case to a higher court.

Emack argued that the 2008 raid on the YFZ ranch in West Texas was unconstitutional. But a three-judge panel in Austin said that authorities had sufficient grounds for probable cause.

Emack is serving a seven-year sentence for sexually assaulting his 16-year-old bride. Earlier this month, a jury in San Angelo sentenced Jeffs to life in prison on similar child sex charges.