Slashing victim faces alleged attacker for the first time

Susan Rizk saw her former boyfriend, Steve Wasserman, on Monday for the first time since he allegedly attacked her with a 2-foot-long sword.

She admitted the anticipation of seeing Wasserman was "nerve-racking" but believed seeing him was therapeutic.

"I'm very relieved," she said after a court hearing Monday. "I'm glad he was able to see me standing in the courtroom."

Seeing him for the first time since the October attack "really made (the attack) seem like it really happened," she said.

Wasserman and Rizk made eye contact briefly before the hearing.

Rizk gripped her sister's hands while seeing Wasserman.

But he showed no discernible reaction when he spotted Rizk in a back row of the courtroom.

The pair were in court where a summer trial date was set in the attempted-murder case against Wasserman. Potential jury members will arrive for questioning beginning June 27. Jury selection is slated for July 5.

He is charged with three special allegation felonies. He has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity, meaning if he is found guilty a jury will have to decide if he was insane at the time of the South Lake Tahoe attack.

He is charged with attempted murder, aggravated mayhem and residential burglary, all felonies. Two misdemeanor charges include endangering a child and violating a restraining order.

Wasserman was handcuffed and wearing the customary orange jumpsuit of El Dorado County Jail, where he has remained at $10 million bail since his Oct. 25 arrest.

Rizk spent two months at Washoe Medical Center, where she underwent five surgeries. She is waiting for another surgery on her hands. Rehabilitation sessions in Reno are frequent.

As Wasserman awaited escort back to his cell, he set his sights on Rizk, who was walking out of the courtroom.

"I was hoping I'd see some remorse," she said.


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