Influencer Andrew Tate and his brother Tristan have lost appeals against a decision to extend their detention by another 30 days.
The court in Romania rejected four appeals and the pair will remain in custody until February 27 while prosecutors continue investigating the case, said Ramona Bolla, a spokeswoman for Romania’s Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism.
The British-American citizen, who has 4.7 million followers on Twitter, was arrested on December 29 on charges of being part of an organised crime group, human trafficking and rape.
Responding to a journalist’s question as he arrived at the Bucharest Court of Appeal, Tate, 36, shouted: “You know I am innocent.”
The brothers have been remanded in custody since.
Two Romanian women connected to the case ― Georgiana Naghel and Luana Radu ― are also in pretrial detention.
Prosecutors argued that, if set free, the brothers could have exercised “psychic control” over people they are accused of trafficking.
Tate rose to notoriety in 2016 when he was removed from reality TV show Big Brother over a video that appeared to show him hitting a woman with a belt.
The former kickboxer has said women are partly responsible for being raped and that they belong to men. He is a self-professed misogynist.
On a podcast last year, he said he started making money when he lived in London by convincing girlfriends to videochat and share the profits.
“How can I use these women to make me money?” he said.
After the Tates and the two women were arrested, Romania’s Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism said it had identified six victims in a human-trafficking case who had been subjected to “acts of physical violence and mental coercion” and had been sexually exploited by members of the alleged crime group.
The agency said victims were lured in but later intimidated, kept under surveillance and subjected to control tactics while being coerced into engaging in pornographic acts for financial gain.
In January, Romanian authorities descended on a compound near Bucharest where the Tates were staying and towed away a fleet of luxury cars that included a Rolls-Royce, Ferrari and Porsche.
They reported seizing assets worth an estimated $3.9 million. Tate unsuccessfully appealed against the seizures.
Prosecutors have said that if they can prove the owners gained money through illicit activities such as human trafficking, the assets would be used to cover the expenses of the investigation and to compensate victims.