Officers responded to the scene, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 1116 Yew Avenue NE, at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday after receiving a report of an assault, said Olympia police spokeswoman Laura Wohl.
An investigation found that the woman had been cleaning the church and was taking out the trash when she was attacked in the church parking lot. The woman resisted her attacker, who then fled the scene on foot.
K-9 police dogs were brought in to try and track the suspect, but the effort was not successful and the attacker remains at large. He is described as a white man, about 25 to 35 years old, who stands about 6 feet tall with dark hair and a full beard.
The victim sustained minor injuries in the assault. She was taken to St. Peter's Hospital, where she was treated and released.
The case is under active investigation, and no motive for the crime has been determined, Wohl said.
Anyone with information is urged to call Olympia police at (360) 753-8300 or the Thurston County CrimeStoppers at (360) 493-2222. Callers may remain anonymous.