Local Democrat activist pleads guilty to misdemeanor in gunshot, prostitution case

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AURORA | A longtime local Democratic activist accused of having sex with a prostitute and firing a gun in a mall parking lot pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor last week and was sentenced to probation.

Hashim Tarik Coates, 41, pleaded guilty to prohibited use of a weapon, a class-two misdemeanor, last week as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors. In exchange for the guilty plea, the other charges, including a felony count of illegally discharging a firearm and misdemeanor counts of patronizing a prostitute, solicitation and criminal mischief, were dropped.

The Adams County district attorney’s office, which prosecuted the case for Arapahoe County prosecutors, some of whom sat on volunteer boards Coates also served on, announced the plea agreement Monday.

Coates served on Aurora’s Human Relations Commission, and last year took the first steps toward running for city council, though he scrapped that bid early this year.

Before that he worked on campaigns for several local Democrats, including Morgan Carroll’s efforts to head the state’s Democratic Party. Prior to working on Carroll’s bid to lead the Democratic party, Coates worked on Congressional campaigns for both Carroll last year and former state lawmaker Andrew Romanoff in 2014.

According to court documents, on Dec. 4, 2016, Coates had sex with a prostitute and fired a gun into a car where the prostitute and three other people were. The criminal mischief charge accuses Coates of damaging $300 worth of property. The incident happened in the parking lot of Town Center at Aurora mall, according to records.