Travis Coker faces two charges of child endangerment

By Steve Helling
December 08, 2017 12:23 PM
Credit: Marion County Jail

An Iowa dad faces two charges of child endangerment after authorities allege he used an electric cattle prod to discipline at least one of his children, PEOPLE confirms.

Travis John Coker was arrested on Dec. 1 after the Iowa Department of Human Services received a complaint from a female dependent. According to court records, the dependent alleged that Coker, 36, used “inappropriate forms of discipline.”

After receiving the complaint, DHS officials went to the Coker family farm in Swan, Iowa, to investigate. Officers with the Marion County, Iowa, Sheriff’s Office accompanied them.

According to the arrest report, Coker and his wife allegedly corroborated the victim’s allegations.

“They weren’t doing the chores fast enough, so he decided to use an electronic cattle prod to discipline the children,” Marion County Sheriff Jason Sandholdt told local TV station KCCI.

The court records indicate that Coker allegedly used a livestock prod on his daughters, ages 11 and 13. The prod is a stick that administers an painful yet superficial electric shock when it touches the skin.

Sandholdt told KCCI that Coker gave the children an hour to complete their chores. If the chores weren’t complete, the girls would allegedly receive a shock every five minutes afterwards.

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In addition to his daughters, Coker also has two sons.

He was arrested on two charges of child endangerment and booked into the Marion County Jail, PEOPLE confirms. He was released the following day on $5,000 bond.

Coker has not yet entered a plea, and court records do not indicate whether he has an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

He did not return PEOPLE’s call on Friday.