THE BRONX - ? Police say they now have eight of the nine men they say are responsible for the anti-gay hate crime that occurred outside a University Heights apartment.

The eight men, whose ages range from 16 to 23, allegedly targeted the three victims after learning that two of the men, one of them a 17-year-old trying to join the gang, had sex with each other.

They are accused of luring the victims to an abandoned house on Osborne Place, then beating and sodomizing them with wooden objects for more than 24 hours.

City officials joined the community in an effort to raise awareness, and volunteers were out in full force passing out anti-homophobia flyers.

Police are still searching one more suspect. If convicted, the men face a minimum of 15 years in prison.

Anyone with information on the suspect still at large is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.