Andrew Tate, the influencer and former professional kickboxer, was indicted on Tuesday in Romania on charges of human trafficking and forming an organized criminal group. His brother, Tristan, and two Romanian women were indicted on other charges in the alleged scheme that involved them recruiting girls from the U.S. and the United Kingdom by claiming they wanted to date them, then forcing them to have sex on camera.
According to prosecutors, the Tates forced seven women to record pornography in a house outside of Bucharest. On two occasions, one of the brothers used “violence and mental coercion” to allegedly rape one of the victims. The indictment does not specify the defendant, though the Washington Post reports that prior court documents state that Andrew Tate was being investigated for rape.
Known for his openly misognystic views and frequent dismissals of rape, Tate has been banned from Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok. In 2017, he moved to Romania, claiming later that he relocated from the U.K. in part because “I’m not a rapist, but I like the idea of just being able to do what I want.” In 2022, Romanian authorities began investigating Tate after a man called the U.S. embassy claiming that his girlfriend, an American citizen, was being held against her will in a house outside of Bucharest. Tate, who made money off a “Hustler’s University” course to his millions of followers, had been using his girlfriends in a webcam business where they sold “fake sob stories” to clients, describing it once as a “total scam.”
Tate, 36, has been under house arrest since he was released from a three-month stint in jail in March. He has denied all charges and a spokesperson claimed that the trial would be an opportunity for the Tates to “demonstrate their innocence and vindicate their reputation.” Both the human-trafficking and rape charges include sentences of up to ten years in prison, if convicted.