Disgraced influencer Andrew Tate will face trial on charges of rape, human trafficking and forming a criminal gang to sexually exploit women, Romanian authorities said Tuesday.
Tate, his brother Tristan and two other suspects have been under house arrest following a police investigation that led to their arrest in December. They deny the accusations.
Romania’s anti-organized crime agency, DIICOT, said in a statement that it would send four people to court: two British-American dual nationals and two Romanians. The Tate brothers have dual US and British citizenship.
Andrew and Tristan Tate were not explicitly named by authorities Tuesday, but a spokesman for the brothers confirmed their allegation to NBC News.
«While this news is undoubtedly predictable, we seize the opportunity it presents to prove her innocence and vindicate her reputation,» spokeswoman Mateea Petrescu said in a statement.
The indictment will allow the Tates and their team «to present a comprehensive set of evidence, diligently collected and prepared over time, that will undoubtedly corroborate the brothers’ claims of innocence,» Petrescu added.
A trial date has not yet been set.
Prosecutors accuse the four defendants of forming a criminal gang in early 2021, according to the criminal agency’s statement, to carry out human trafficking in Romania, the US and the UK.
The statement alleges that the four men falsely brought seven victims to Romania by tricking them into thinking they were in a real romantic relationship, a grooming technique DIICOT called «the loverboy method.»
The victims were then taken to homes in Ilfov county, which surrounds Bucharest, and subjected to physical violence, mental coercion and sexual exploitation, DIICOT said. Three of the victims are civil parties in the criminal case against the Tates and their associates.
An anonymous defendant is accused of accessing a digital device belonging to one of the victims and posting photos of her in what DIICOT called «compromising poses.»
The indictment provided a long list of assets that prosecutors requested permission to seize, including 15 properties, 15 luxury cars, 2 metal bars and a medal, as well as Bitcoin, the virtual currency, worth approximately $385,000.
Romanian authorities said in January they had seized $3.9 million worth of luxury cars and other assets at a compound near Bucharest, the Romanian capital, as part of the Tate investigation.
The brothers were taken into custody and released under house arrest in March.
Tate is a former kickboxer who has amassed a large following on social media by sharing provocative, often misogynistic views on the role of women and masculinity.
Teachers from all over the English-speaking world and beyond have discussed how to deal with young people who have been influenced by Tate’s more extreme views.
He was banned from several major social media platforms last year, but has since been reinstated on Twitter, where he continues to update his followers about his arrest.
On Tuesday, Tate retweeted a Twitter account with the username @Tatenews_ that said: «So far no judge has reviewed the evidence in the case file. It was all based on arguments to keep the Tate brothers in jail and under house arrest».
CORRECTION (June 20, 2023, 1:44 p.m. ET): An earlier version of this article erroneously stated how much Bitcoin prosecutors want to seize from Tate. It is about $385,000, not $385,000,000.