Prosecutors in the country announced an indictment against the antagonistic online personality known for his misogynistic remarks. He had been under house arrest outside Bucharest.
Andrew Tate, an antagonistic online personality known for his misogyny, has been indicted in Romania on charges including human trafficking and forming an organized criminal group related to the abuse of women, prosecutors there said in a statement on Tuesday.
Mr. Tate, 36, a British American former kickboxer, had been living in Romania and was arrested there in December last year along with his younger brother, Tristan Tate, and two Romanian women. They were initially held in a Bucharest jail.
The four have been under house arrest since April as investigations continued into the charges that were laid against them after they were arrested, which included a rape charge against one suspect as well as human trafficking and forming an organized criminal group.
With the indictment, they will now face a trial in a Bucharest court, though it was unclear when that would take place.
The prosecutors’ statement does not specify which of the suspects is accused of rape, but a Bucharest court of appeals document dated January, detailing the decision to prolong the pre-trial detention of the Tate brothers, appends Andrew Tate’s initials to the charge. An official in the prosecutors’ office, speaking anonymously because the details are confidential, confirmed that the elder Mr. Tate was facing the rape charge.
The Tate brothers will attend a hearing on Wednesday morning, according to Mateea Petrescu, a spokeswoman for Mr. Tate and his brother.
Mr. Tate, who has a vast audience of mostly young male followers on social media, has a long history of misogynistic statements, saying that women “belong” to men, and has also portrayed men as victims of false rape accusations and feminism.
He has denied the accusations against him in Romania, saying he was innocent, both through his lawyer and to his nearly seven million followers on Twitter.
“We embrace the opportunity it presents to demonstrate their innocence and vindicate their reputation,” said Ms. Petrescu, referring to the announcement of the indictment on Tuesday, calling the prosecutors’ decision “predictable.”
Mr. Tate apparently chose Romania as his home and the base for his business operations because he believed he would be able to do what he liked there.
“I like living in a society where my money, my influence and my power mean that I’m not below or beholden” to any laws, Mr. Tate had told his fans.
But the country has in recent years made efforts to tackle the endemic corruption and lawlessness for which it had long been known.
Among the charges Mr. Tate faces are accusations that he and the other suspects formed a criminal group in 2021 to commit human trafficking across Romania, the United States and Britain.
Prosecutors said that the brothers had misled women into believing they wanted to establish a relationship and housed them outside Bucharest, where they were forced to perform in sex videos online.
The investigators identified seven women who they said were “sexually exploited” and forced into performing sexual acts on camera by the suspects, who disseminated the content for financial gain.
On two separate occasions, one of the defendants used violence and psychological pressure to rape one of the women, the prosecutors’s statement said, without specifying which defendant. On another occasion, when one of the women asked to leave the building, one of the defendants used violence against her.
As part of the indictment, prosecutors have requested the confiscation of the brothers’ assets, including more than $100,000 in various currencies, cryptocurrencies valued at about $380,000, land and property in Romania and luxury cars and watches. The defendants will also have to pay the legal costs of the case, expected to be about $60,000.
“I’m sure this case has absolutely nothing to do with stealing my wealth,” said Mr. Tate on Twitter on Tuesday with apparent sarcasm.
Mr. Tate has told his followers that he is the victim of a conspiracy by the “matrix” — a catchall designation for what he sees as a plot by a “woke” elite and feminists to emasculate men.
“The matrix sent their agents,” he told his followers on Twitter last year after the Romanian police stormed his compound.
Delia Marinescu contributed reporting.