The controversial influencer is accused of coercing seven victims into pornographic acts.
Romanian authorities have charged social-media celebrity Andrew Tate with rape, human trafficking, and forming an organized crime group. Tate was charged along with his brother and two Romanian women, whom prosecutors claim helped him use violence and coercion to build a lucrative pornography business.
Police arrested Tate, his brother Tristan and the two women at their Bucharest home in December. The Tate brothers, who have dual citizenship of the US and UK, were imprisoned until March, when they were moved to house arrest.
Prosecutors with Romania’s anti-racketeering DIICOT unit announced the charges against Tate and his associates on Tuesday. The four are accused of forming an organized crime group in early 2021 and of exploiting seven victims “through acts of physical violence and psychological coercion.” Tate is accused of two counts of rape.
According to a press release from DIICOT, the Tate brothers courted the seven women with declarations of love and promises of relationships before taking them to Bucharest and forcing them to perform pornographic acts for the group’s camgirl business. Aside from physical and psychological violence, the women were allegedly forced into debt to keep them working.
One of the victims was allegedly raped twice by Tate last year, DIICOT claimed. In a recent interview with the BBC, Tate claimed that the alleged rape victim has since attempted to withdraw her accusation.
In a post to Twitter on Tuesday, Tristan Tate did not deny that the brothers ran a camgirl operation but claimed that the studio had been closed for four years by the time the alleged offenses took place.
A former champion kickboxer, Tate became a prominent social-media figure after he appeared on the British reality show ‘Big Brother’ in 2016. Tate maintained a brash and abrasive persona on social media, boasting about his wealth and encouraging his young male followers to pay for courses in which he promised to help them overcome their lack of success with money and women.
Over the past year, Tate began railing against the politics of the Western world, which he referred to as “the Matrix,” and he has claimed that his attacks on the military-industrial complex, anti-white racism, and coronavirus vaccines made him a target for Western authorities.
Tate’s trial is not expected to start immediately, and the two brothers will remain under house arrest. Under Romanian law, trafficking of adults carries a prison sentence of up to ten years.