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Charlie Coates is a current Litchfield Penitentiary correctional officer and a former donut shop employee. While escorting Tiffany Doggett on van duty, the two develop a friendship that quickly turns abusive. He is portrayed by James McMenamin.
Coates comes off as very mild-mannered and sweet, even quiet and complacent at times. However, he is seen to have a problem with anger. He is also physically and sexually abusive toward women.
He is a slender, taller man with facial hair and short brown hair. He has large eyes. After Pennsatucky crashes the van, he is left with a scar on his forehead.
Coates is among the many correctional officers at Litchfield hired by Caputo due to a staff shortage. His role is to accompany Pennsatucky on any errands the prison needs to run in the van.
Coates asks Pennsatucky to stop by the donut shop in order for him to pick up his paycheck (It is unclear if he continues to work at the donut shop while working as a correctional officer or if this was his last paycheck at the donut shop). Coates also buys donuts that he and Pennsatucky enjoy at a nearby pond. They begin to feed donuts to ducks in the pond.
The pair yet again purchases donuts and returns to the pond to eat them. On this occasion, however, Coates forces Pennsatucky to get down on all fours and fetch a piece of donut from the mud like a dog.
Coates begins to rape Pennsatucky after their relationship becomes increasingly unclear and complicated. Pennsatucky, who has a history of being raped, allows him to abuse her, telling herself it would be her own fault.
After Big Boo finds out about the abuse, she and Pennsatucky start a plan to incapacitate Coates with sedatives, then anally raping him with a broomstick. However, they do not carry out the rape after they knock Coates out with the pills.
- Tiffany Doggett- When Doggett is given the job of van driver, Coates is often in the van with her. Initially their friendship is innocent and they are seen enjoying their time together. Later, it becomes more sinister, as Coates inappropriately deals with his attraction to Doggett by forcing her to do demeaning things and kissing her when it's clear she's already freaked out. Doggett, who has a history of abuse at the hands of men, is unsure what is right and what is wrong, and maintains to Big Boo that he cares about her and buys her things. The stiuation culminates with him raping her in the van. After this, she fakes a seizure to get out of van duty. In Season Four, Coates is confused as to why Doggett is avoiding him, and after a frank discussion, realises that what he did to her was rape, and was not mitigated by the fact that he told her he loved her. He is seen to ruminate on this and appears genuinely sorry for hurting Doggett. Their friendship is reinstated, but Doggett admits she is still scared of him.
- Baxter Bayley - After the guard walk out and the following new guards being imported from war, Baxter and Coates designate themselves as the "original" guards. When Coates is forced to watch the murder scene of Aydin Bayat, Baxter comes and talks to Coates.
- Big Boo- After Pennsatucky is raped by Coates, he buys her a bracelet for her, Pennsatucky shows it to Boo, who notices brusies on her arms. Horrified by this, Boo tells Pennsatucky to take it off. Boo makes Pennsatucky realise that what Coates did was wrong and they decide to get revenge on him. They drug his drink with sleeping pills making him collapse, they take him to the laundry room and decide to put a broomstick into his rectum. Pennsatucky and Boo both chicken out and decide to leave him as he is and humiliate him.
- Scott O'Neill - O'Neill dislikes Coates due to his job.