Police were searching for a Catholic priest they believe may have sexually assaulted and struck a woman at a church.

Authorities said they were called to Our Lady of Las Vegas Catholic Church on Friday evening by someone who heard a woman in the church cry for help.

Officers found a church employee who said she had been assaulted and hit in the head with an object by a priest. Investigators consider the Rev. George Chaanine a person of interest, police spokesman Bill Cassell said.

Police closed the grounds of the church, which is about four miles west of the Las Vegas Strip, for about an hour while they searched for Chaanine.

They believe the priest is driving a cream-colored Buick LeSabre.

The victim was treated at University Medical Center and released.