Cheerleader avoids jail in barroom brawl

TAMPA, Fla. -- A former Carolina Panthers cheerleader
avoided jail Monday by pleading no contest to charges stemming from
her role in a brawl sparked by accusations that she was having sex
with another cheerleader in the bathroom of a bar.

Under the deal with prosecutors, 21-year-old Victoria Renee
Thomas pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of battery and
unlawful display of a license. And she entered a pretrial
intervention program for the one felony charge she faced, giving a
false name to an officer.

Thomas was ordered to participate in anger management
counseling, perform 50 hours of community service and pay $400
restitution to a woman she punched, who had been waiting to use the
bathroom at Banana Joe's in November.

A police report said witnesses reported that Thomas and another
member of the TopCats cheerleading squad, 26-year-old Angela
Keathley, appeared to be having sex in the bathroom stall before
getting in a fight with patrons and getting arrested Nov. 6. They
were in town for the Panthers' game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

On Monday, Thomas' attorney denied that the cheerleaders were
having sex in the stall.

In January, Keathley pleaded guilty to charges of disorderly
conduct and obstructing a police officer. She was also placed in a
pretrial intervention program for first-time offenders. It includes
six months' probation and 32 hours of community service.