The man accused in a brutal attack on a homeless First Nations woman in Prince Albert, Sask., stared at the ground and showed no emotion as a judge read the charges to him Wednesday.

Leslie Ivan Roderick Black, 29, was making his first appearance in provincial court on charges of attempted murder and aggravated sexual assault. When the judge asked him if he understood the charges, he nodded.

The judge ordered a publication ban, meaning the 47-year-old woman cannot be named.

The horrific attack on the woman June 1 has sent shock waves through the city of 35,000.

'I knew the guy from the streets, my little brother went to school with him, and it's just a total shock.'- Victim's niece

She's had to have both legs amputated due to burns and has required facial reconstruction surgery after receiving severe cuts.

Family members of the victim, including a niece who was at court Wednesday, said they knew Black and are shocked.

"I had a panic attack, started crying, what can you do?," the niece said. "I knew the guy from the streets, my little brother went to school with him, and it's just a total shock."

Black, a resident of Prince Albert, was arrested on Saturday night. He has been remanded in custody and will have a bail hearing on July 16.