Andrew Tate, a social media influencer known for his controversial views and lifestyle, is facing trial in Romania on charges of human trafficking, rape and forming a criminal gang to sexually exploit women, officials said on Tuesday.
Mr. Tate, a dual U.S.-British national, and his brother Tristan, who has the same citizenship, were arrested in December along with two Romanian women who allegedly helped them lure and abuse seven victims. They have been under house arrest since then and deny the allegations.
Romania’s organized crime agency, DIICOT, said in a statement that it had sent four people to court: the two brothers and the two Romanian suspects. It did not name them explicitly, but a spokesperson for the Tate brothers confirmed their indictment to NBC News.
“While this news is undoubtedly predictable, we embrace the opportunity it presents to demonstrate their innocence and vindicate their reputation,” the spokesperson, Mateea Petrescu, said in a statement.
The indictment will allow the Tates and their team to “present a comprehensive body of evidence, diligently collected and prepared over time, which will undoubtedly substantiate the brothers’ claims of innocence,” Ms. Petrescu added.
No trial date has yet been set.
According to DIICOT, the defendants formed a criminal gang at the beginning of 2021 with the aim of carrying out human trafficking in Romania, the U.S. and the U.K. They allegedly used “the loverboy method” to deceive the victims into thinking they were in a real romantic relationship and then brought them to houses near Bucharest, where they subjected them to physical violence, mental coercion and sexual exploitation.
Three of the victims are civil parties in the criminal case against the Tates and their associates. One of the defendants is also accused of accessing a digital device belonging to one of the victims and posting pictures of her in “compromising poses.”
The indictment provided a long list of property that prosecutors have requested permission to seize, including 15 properties, 15 luxury cars, two metal ingots and a medal, as well as Bitcoin worth about $385 million.
Mr. Tate, who has more than 500,000 followers on Twitter and Instagram combined, is known for his provocative posts about money, women and politics. He has also been involved in kickboxing and reality television.
He has maintained his innocence on social media, claiming that he is being targeted by corrupt authorities who want his money and assets. He has also accused some of his accusers of being paid to lie about him.
“I have never raped anyone in my life,” he wrote on Twitter in January. “I have never trafficked anyone in my life. I have never hit a woman in my life. I have never formed an organized crime group.”
He also said that he would sue anyone who defamed him or spread false information about him.
“I will not rest until every single person involved in this conspiracy is behind bars,” he wrote. “This is war.”
– Romanian prosecutors sending Andrew Tate to trial, officials say, The Guardian, Tue 20 Jun 2023
– Andrew Tate indicted and will face trial on rape, human trafficking charges in Romania, NBC News, Mon 19 Jun 2023
– Andrew Tate Indicted Over Multiple Crimes in Romania, MSN News, Mon 19 Jun 2023
– Andrew Tate To Stand Trial In Romania Over Rape, Human Trafficking, Deadline, Mon 19 Jun 2023