Andrew Tate ‘more serious’ human trafficking charges
Prosecutors in Romania have escalated the gravity of human trafficking charges against self-proclaimed misogynist influencer Andrew Tate.
Tate, his brother Tristan and two Romanian women are now facing charges of continued human trafficking – what has been described as a more serious charge than individual human trafficking cases, Romanian prosecutors at DIICOT, which fights organized crime, said on Tuesday.
The four suspects are also accused of rape and forming a criminal gang for the sexual exploitation of women.
Both have been under house arrest in Romania since March 31, when they were released from a Bucharest prison after three months.
A seventh victim has also been included in the investigation, a DIICOT spokesman said.
The Tate brothers’ legal team claimed that the changes were in fact in the “legal interest” of their clients.
“The legal framework has been revised and amended to ensure an impartial investigation,” the lawyers said in a statement.
Prosecutors had previously stated that the four suspects “apparently formed an organized crime group whose aim is to recruit, house and exploit women by forcing them to create pornographic content”.
The group then pocketed the proceeds, prosecutors claimed.
All four suspects have denied the allegations against them.
The case is still under investigation and a trial date is expected to be set later in June.
Tate, a British-American national, reportedly said he moved to Romania “probably 40% reason” in 2017 because he believed it would be easier to evade a rape allegation, as per the Guardian in a now-deleted video reported.
“I’m not a rapist, but I like the idea of being able to do whatever I want. I like being free,” he reportedly said.
Human trafficking of adult victims is punishable by up to 10 years in prison in Romania.
The kickboxer-turned-social media influencer has been accused of multiple rapes in the past – all of which he denied.
Last week, a new victim came forward and claimed Tate, 36, effectively raped her, having strangled her until she was unconscious during sex and then continued having sex with her lifeless body.
“I thought I was going to die,” the 30-year-old accuser told The Independent, adding that Tate threatened to kill her during the 2014 crime.
While she initially consented, “I think once the person you’re having sex with isn’t able to communicate what they want to do, that consent is just completely gone,” she told the BBC.
The woman, who went by a pseudonym out of fear for her safety, joins three other British women who plan to sue Tate over alleged rape and physical abuse they were subjected to while working as camgirls for the influencer when he died in 2013 lived in England until 2016.
They have accused Tate of pointing guns to women’s heads and strangling them with belts.
The abuse was first reported to the police about eight years ago and led to the arrest of the influencer.
However, the case was dropped after prosecutors said the case failed their legal scrutiny.
The women’s lawyer said the police had not taken the allegations seriously.
Also on Tuesday, DIICOT prosecutors announced that they had opened a separate criminal investigation into a close associate of the Tate brothers on allegations of similar human trafficking.
Romanian Vlad Obuzic and two other suspects are said to have solicited women by pretending to date or marry them, and instead forced them to produce pornographic content for social media sites – with which the suspects took the proceeds.
As with the allegations against Tate, the suspects are said to have forced the victims to have their names or faces tattooed.
“To ensure the victims’ loyalty and to ensure that they behave only for the benefit of the members of the group, they have been forced to have the name or face of the group member who is exploiting them tattooed,” the statement said Public prosecutor.
The victims were reportedly given permanent tattoos by Tate that were “owned by Tate,” police sources previously said.
The misogynistic influencer has openly said he believes women belong to men.
“It’s not about being property, it’s about him owning her and the intimate parts of her body are his because they’re in a relationship,” Tate told Barstool Sports in July. “And if she wants to sell those, he has an interest in those body parts.”
With post wires