Divisive social media personality Andrew Tate and his brother, Tristan, have been charged with rape, human trafficking and forming a criminal gang to exploit women, prosecutors in Romania have said.
Romania's anti-organised crime agency, DIICOT, said on Tuesday that prosecutors filed the charges against the brothers, who are both British-US dual citizens, along with two Romanian women.
In a statement, the agency said that the four defendants formed a criminal group in 2021 “in order to commit the crime of human trafficking” in Romania as well as the United States and Britain.
The statement alleged that seven female victims were misled and transported to Romania, where they were sexually exploited and subjected to physical violence by the gang.
Misogyny and hate speech
Tate, 36, is a professional kickboxer with millions of Twitter followers. He has resided in Romania since 2017 and was previously banned from various social media platforms for expressing misogynistic views and hate speech.
He has repeatedly claimed Romanian prosecutors have no evidence and alleged their case is a political conspiracy designed to silence him.
Prosecutors have ordered the confiscation of assets from the Tate brothers including 15 luxury cars, luxury watches and about $3 million they held in cryptocurrency, the agency's statement said.
On Tuesday, Tate's spokesperson Mateea Petrescu said the brothers were prepared to “demonstrate their innocence and vindicate their reputation.”
“Tate’s legal team are prepared to cooperate fully with the appropriate authorities, presenting all necessary evidence to exonerate the brothers and expose any misinterpretations or false accusations,” Petrescu said.