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No new leads in Woodbury rape case; business offers free self-defense course in response to incident

Police said investigation continues following last week's sexual assault in a Woodbury park. Meanwhile,a Woodbury business announced this week it will provide a free self-defense seminar in response to a rape reported last week.

Ultimate Martial Arts & Fitness - formerly USA Karate - is running a seminar from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., where attendees can learn "several effective self-defense maneuvers" from professionals.

According to a press release, the seminar is being offered in response to requests from parents of students who have expressed safety concerns.

Community members went on edge Saturday, April 23, after police announced a 33-year-old woman had been sexually assaulted while out for an early morning run at Markgrafs Lake Park. The woman reported being sexually assaulted by a man, though no additional description was given.

No arrests have been made in the case.

Woodbury police investigator Jay Alberio said the case remains an active investigation. He said there have no suspects identified, but noted that the state's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension will examine possible DNA evidence.

"We're in a holding pattern," he said.

Alberio said self-defense techniques can be effective in some instances, but he stressed that responses to high-risk incidents should be handled on a situational basis.

"It's kind of a fine line," he said.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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