Andrew Tate and his brother Tristan will remain in custody until Feb. 27 after a Romanian court extended their detention on Friday.
The British-American kickboxing champion-turned-sexist influencer and his brother are being investigated over allegations of rape and human trafficking. A judge at the Bucharest Court determined that the pair should remain in police custody for another 30 days while authorities carry out their inquiries.
The Tate brothers and two Romanian women were arrested last month over allegations of being part of an organized crime group that local authorities say exploited women by coercing them into making pornography. Prosecutors say Tate would pretend to want romantic relationships with the alleged victims before forcing them into creating the explicit content. All four suspects deny the allegations.
Before the hearing Friday, lawyers for the Tate brothers argued that prosecutors had failed to produce any new evidence against the defendants and that they were “optimistic” the detention extension would be denied, the BBC reports.
Ramona Bolla, a spokesperson for the Romanian anti-organized crime agency DIICOT, said prosecutors requested the month-long extension on Thursday to keep all four in custody as investigations are still underway, according to Sky News. The successful request comes after the defendants lost an appeal last week to overturn a previous decision that extended their arrest from 24 hours to 30 days.
Authorities last week also seized about $4 million worth of Tate’s assets, including luxury cars and watches from his compound on the outskirts of Bucharest, Reuters reports. Tate reportedly moved to the Eastern European country in 2017.
Before his arrest, Tate amassed a millions-strong army of online followers despite bans from major platforms including TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram over his violent sexist rhetoric. Although Twitter banned his account in 2017 after Tate opined that female rape victims should “bare some responsibility” for their attacks, his account was reinstated last year. He now has 4.7 million followers on the site.
Tate was arrested in Britain in 2015 on suspicion of rape, Vice reported earlier this month, but U.K. authorities ultimately decided not to press charges. The site later reported that Tate had contacted one of his alleged victims to say, “I love raping you.” Tate denied any wrongdoing in a statement to the outlet.