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Andrew Tate, brother to go to trial after rape, human trafficking indictment

Romanian prosecutors announced Tuesday that internet personality and self-described misogynist Andrew Tate and his brother have been indicted on charges of human trafficking, rape and forming an organized crime group.

The indictment marks the end of a criminal investigation into Tate and two Romanian associates as prosecutors referred the case for trial. The prosecutors’ statement said the injured parties were “sexually exploited by group members” and forced to produce online pornography through acts of “violence and mental coercion.”

The legal team for the Tate brothers described the move as “undoubtedly predictable” and vowed to “demonstrate their innocence and vindicate their reputation.” The team said in a statement, “The indictment now allows us to present a comprehensive body of evidence, diligently collected and prepared over time, which will undoubtedly substantiate the brothers’ claims of innocence.”

Romania indicted social media influencer Andrew Tate, his brother and two other suspects on June 20 of human trafficking, rape and forming a criminal gang. (Video: Reuters)

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Andrew Tate, Tristan Tate and two Romanian female associates were arrested in Romania in December and were held in preventive detention as the investigation continued over concerns they were a flight risk. The brothers, who have British and American dual citizenship, were moved to house arrest in March.

Prosecutors said the four formed a crime group for human trafficking in Romania, Britain and the United States.

“The injured persons were recruited by the foreign nationals, by misleading them about the intention to establish a marriage/cohabitation relationship and the existence of real feelings of love,” the prosecutors’ statement said, adding that seven victims have been identified.

One of the suspects is charged with rape in relation to two incidents in March 2022, according to the statement. Court documents previously seen by The Washington Post indicate that Andrew Tate was being investigated for two incidents of rape that month of a Moldovan woman he is alleged to have trafficked from London.

Lawyers for Tate have argued in closed court sessions that the sex with the woman was consensual, according to the court documents viewed by The Post. Those documents also include extensive text message records that showed how Tate and his brother lured women to Bucharest, Romania.

Tate, a former kickboxing champion with 6.9 million followers on Twitter, has built a popular personal brand around hyper-masculinity. In the past he has said women should bear “some responsibility” for being raped and described himself as a “webcam kingpin.”

Tate has portrayed the investigation as an attempt to curb his influence.

“I’m sure this case has absolutely nothing to do with stealing my wealth,” Tate tweeted after the indictment was announced. Romanian prosecutors have seized millions of dollars in assets belonging to the Tates, including 15 pieces of real estate, 15 luxury cars, 14 watches, cryptocurrency and shares.

Tristan Tate described Tuesday’s announcement that the investigation is complete as progress. “These 15 months have been hell on everybody I care about,” he tweeted.

The investigation was triggered last year when the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest tipped off Romanian police that a 21-year-old American citizen was being held against her will in a property belonging to the Tates.

Conviction in Romania on charges of human trafficking can carry penalties of between three and 10 years. For rape, penalties can range between five and 10 years.

A hearing during which details of the indictment will be communicated to Tate’s legal team will be held on Wednesday, according to their lawyers. The Tates plan to attend in person. During the same hearing, the judge is expected to discuss whether their detention is necessary.

The indictment was issued Thursday, according to prosecutors, and has not been made public.

Amar Nadhir in Rotterdam contributed to this report.


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