Controversial influencer Andrew Tate has been charged in Romania with rape, human trafficking and forming an organised crime group to sexually exploit women.
His brother Tristan and two associates also face charges. All have denied the allegations.
The Tate brothers were initially arrested at their residence in Bucharest back in December. However, in March, a Romanian judge granted them house arrest, modifying their custody status. The indictment filed with the Bucharest court states that the four defendants established an organized criminal group in 2021, engaging in human trafficking activities within Romania and other countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom.
The indictment specifies the names of seven alleged victims who were reportedly lured by the Tate brothers through false promises of love and marriage. Additionally, substantial assets belonging to the accused, such as properties, vehicles, and over $300 million (£235 million) worth of cryptocurrency, have been seized. The trial itself is not expected to commence immediately and is projected to span several years. The Romanian judge overseeing the case has a 60-day period to review the case files before it can proceed to trial.
A spokesperson representing Andrew Tate, his brother, and the two associates stated, “We welcome this opportunity to demonstrate their innocence.” Moreover, separate investigations are still ongoing, potentially resulting in additional charges such as money laundering and trafficking of minors.
It is worth noting that Andrew Tate faced public controversy in 2016 when he was expelled from the British TV show Big Brother after a video emerged allegedly showing him assaulting a woman. Despite being banned from various social media platforms, he managed to gain popularity, particularly among young men, by promoting a hyper-masculine and ostentatiously luxurious lifestyle.