On December 29th, social media personality and misogynist Andrew Tate was arrested for organized crime, human trafficking, and aggravated sexual assault. The 36-year-old is notorious for his controversial commentary, including telling his viewers that “women belong in the home, can’t drive, and are a man’s property” and that victims of rape should “bear responsibility” for their attacks, as reported by The Guardian. At the time of his arrest, the former professional kickboxer had been attempting to antagonize teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg on both Twitter and Instagram.
On Tuesday, a court in Bucharest, Romania rejected an appeal against a judge’s decision to extend his arrest from the initial 24 hours to 30 days. According to NBC, the court stated that “the possibility of them evading investigations cannot be ignored” and that the accused could “leave Romania and settle in countries that do not allow extradition.”
A spokesperson for DIICOT, The Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism, announced that six victims have been identified in the trafficking case. They are believed to have been subjected to “acts of physical violence and mental coercion.” The agency has stated that the female victims were lured by the pretenses of a romantic relationship and were later intimidated, held hostage, kept under 24-hour surveillance, and forced to perform sexual acts on camera.
Prosecutors have seized 15 vehicles and over 10 properties owned by Tate and his brothers since their arrests. If proven that the money used to pay for the assets were from human trafficking, they “will be taken by the state and cover the expenses of the investigation and damages to the victims.”